Southern California’s solar industry industry is growing rapidly, and GRID Alternatives, America’s largest non-profit solar installer, continued its efforts to connect workers to companies that need skilled employees by holding its Solar Career Fair. The free Career Fair took place on the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College campus, where over 200 attendees gathered information from 20 employers and resources organizations to assist them on their journeys in solar.
Thursday’s event marked the fifth year of the Greater Los Angeles Solar Career Fair, a highlight of the GRID Alternatives GLA Workforce Development program. Over the last seven years, GRID GLA has helped to directly connect hundreds of trainees to full-time employment, train them through its SolarCorps Fellowship program, or start them on careers with local unions.
“GRID Alternatives has been and continues to be a valued partner,” said Jennifer Kropke, Director of Workforce and Environmental Engagement for IBEW Local 11, National Electrical Contractors Association, Los Angeles, LMCC. “Their diverse trainees bring a strong foundation of solar installation experience with them into our apprenticeship. GRID exposes Angelenos to solar work and IBEW continues with well-paying union careers involving additional clean energy technologies, such as micro-grids and battery-energy storage; it’s an environmental justice and economic justice win for Los Angeles!”
The Career Fair comes the same week as The Solar Foundation and Solar Energy Industries Association’s Diversity Study, which quantifies the underrepresentation of women and African-Americans in the solar workforce. While the need for equitable hiring practices continues to be a pressing concern, nationwide hiring remains strong overall, with 150,000 new solar jobs since 2010. In California, new programs coming on-line like the Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program and the rooftop solar mandate continue to make solar jobs an important source of employment.
“America has completed its 2 millionth solar installation, an achievement made possible because of innovation and contributions by diverse workers across the industry,” said GRID GLA Workforce Development Manager Adewale OgunBadejo, citing installation numbers from Vote Solar and SEIA. “We’re proud to be part of this boom for workers with our 2019 Career Fair—some of the 242,000 solar positions our industry needs workers to fill are being filled today.”
GRID Alternatives | http://www.gridalternatives.org