(Image Credit: Chineeb)
In an attempt to stem the 30% higher unemployment rate for vets over national numbers, solar power employers are granting vets free solar PV installation training. Officially starting on the first of this month, the Veterans Retaining Assistance Program has been accepting applications. The field of PV installation is becoming more lucrative as time goes on and it’s nice to see unemployed veterans having the opportunity to get in early.
Make Sure to Choose a Licensed School
Not all programs are free for Vets though. Among those that offer benefits include US Solar Institute. This institution is the only VA-approved school of its kind to include certified diploma programs. It’s important that vets do their research and make sure they are attending schools which are licensed by the Department of Education. Sadly, some schools claim they accept veterans benefits when in actuality they can’t and don’t. A qualified solar training class will educate individuals on how to install, sell, design, manage, or even own a solar installation company.
Why Solar Training is Good for Veterans
First of all, it is extremely affordable. Ontility Solar, based out of Houston, offers waivers for veterans to cover 100% of the costs. In 2011, they more than doubled their staff from 35 to 77 employees and they plan on hiring more soon. Even non-vets can gain grants that may cover up to $1,000.00.
The speed of the program is also beneficial. It only takes five days to finish a solar training program through Ontility Solar as opposed to the years it takes in other fields to gain adequate qualifications. Most fields are increasing by a national average of 0.7% while the solar industry rapidly grows at a 7% pace, according to statistics from 2011 (renewableenergyworld.com). The industry has also expressed their struggle to fill jobs with qualified and enthusiastic employees.
One Option: Ontility Solar Training Schedule, Dates, and Fees
|*Jul 23, 2012 Chicago, IL||$1595|
|*Jul 23, 2012 Atlanta, GA||$1595|
|*Jul 30, 2012 Baltimore, MD||$1595|
|*Jul 30, 2012 Miami, FL||$1595|
|*Aug 06, 2012 Denver, CO||$1595|
|*Aug 13, 2012 Los Angeles, CA||$1595|
|*Aug 20, 2012 Houston, TX||$1595|
|*Aug 20, 2012 Plano, TX||$1595|
|*Aug 20, 2012 New Orleans, LA||$1595|
|*Sept 10, 2012 St. Louis, MO||$1595|
|*Sept 24, 2012 Atlanta, GA||$1595|
*Register for the nearest classes in your location at: http://www.ontility.com/training/registration?class_id=465
Hurdles to Overcome in the Industry
Like every business, there are always obstacles that get in the way at times. Solar energy companies are not an exception. Even though the industry has grown considerably over the last few years, there aren’t many state incentives, enough awareness by consumers, and the current talent pool of qualified employees is slim. If you are out of work, a veteran, and a determined individual, this field may offer a promising start for a new career.
Get an Early Start!
Check out this video on installing a PV system with careful attention to detail of the manual when installing a system that includes parts from multiple manufacturers: