The September 2021 Solar Futures Study by the Department of Energy and National Renewable Energy Laboratory indicated that “in order to achieve the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of an inclusive, equitable transition to a fully decarbonized electricity system by 2035, the (U.S.) solar workforce will need to grow from approximately 250,000 workers in 2021 to between 500,000 and 1.5 million workers by 2035.”
Grid Alternatives, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that installs clean energy projects, announced a renewed partnership and financial commitment of $300,000 from Bank of America to fund a workforce development program, the SolarCorps Fellowship Program.
The new funding will support Grid Alternatives’ 37 SolarCorps fellows in obtaining experience, mentorship, professional development, and increased knowledge about careers in solar development and other clean energy markets.
Since 2014, 422 individuals have become SolarCorps Fellows, and the experience helped 73% of the individuals land their next job following the fellowship. Since 2010, Bank of America has provided $2.2 million in total funding to Grid Alternatives and has supported 200 fellows in their career advancement since 2017.
“We are at a moment in time when we can create access to clean energy and clean energy jobs in underrepresented communities like never before,” said Alex Liftman, global environmental executive, Bank of America. “That’s why we are pleased to support SolarCorps and the broader mission of Grid Alternatives, which are helping to meet that demand and creating healthy communities and economic mobility in the process.”
The nonprofit development firm’s mission is to build community-powered solutions to advance economic and environmental justice through renewable energy across the U.S., as well as in Tribal authority nations, and worldwide.
Grid Alternatives’ work has taken centerstage in response to the Inflation Reduction Act. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory predict strong growth in the solar industry workforce as a result of the IRA.
The nonprofit is proud to be a part of the solar industry’s job growth by providing workforce development and training programs, resulting in over 33,000 trainees, students, and volunteers gaining valuable experience in solar installations and construction, and outreach and community solar education.
The organization has demonstrated its commitment to a just workforce transition by serving historically underrepresented communities in the energy industry, including women and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)-identifying individuals.
Grid Alternatives recruits job training participants from economic and environmental justice communities located in its affiliate offices’ regions, including Riverside, Los Angeles County, Sacramento, Fresno, Oakland, San Diego, Calif., as well as Denver and Kingman Park in Colorado; and Washington, DC.
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