SYRIAN REFUGEES AND MILITARY VETERANS JOIN GROWING SOLAR INDUSTRY

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Refugee uses GRID training to launch his own solar installation company; other trainees meet top solar employers at graduation ceremony 

Source: Grid Alternatives San Diego

October 11, 2017 (San Diego) -- This month, GRID Alternatives San Diego, an affiliate of America’s largest nonprofit solar installer GRID Alternatives, introduced Syrian refugees and military veterans to the multi-billion-dollar solar industry through its Solar Installation Training Program. Attendees at the program graduation included refugee and long-time GRID volunteer Mohamed Hauter, who recently launched his own solar installation company and now employs several graduates of GRID’s training program.

GRID’s Solar Installation Training Program provides paid, hands-on experience and opportunities for community members including military veterans and refugees. Participants complete 240 hours of practice in order to master skills ranging from how to safely handle materials to solar-related electrical knowledge and design considerations. During the course of the program, trainees install solar panels for low- to moderate-income families to reduce their cost of living through the use of renewable energy.

At the graduation ceremony, GRID introduced newly certified solar installers to top industry employers including Sunrun, Inc., Horizon Solar Power and Elements Solar LLC, the company that Hauter founded this year along with refugees who graduated from GRID’s training.

“GRID has provided me with an opportunity for a better future here in America,” said Hauter, the graduate who is now starting his own solar company. “They invested in me and in turn I have invested in a business that will continue to make our San Diego community a better place.”

Other graduates of GRID’s program will use their skills to land well-paying, stable jobs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the mean hourly wage for a solar installer is $19.53, well above the California minimum wage.

“We want to provide people of all backgrounds with the opportunity for a successful career in solar,” said Paul Cleary, executive director of GRID Alternatives San Diego. “When people like Mohamed take the skills they learned here, out into the real world they improve their own lives as well as support their families and give back to our community.”

For more information on the requirements to qualify for the program, visit: http://www.gridalternatives.org/sandiego

GRID Alternatives San Diego is an affiliate of GRID Alternatives, America’s largest nonprofit solar installer, bringing clean energy technology and job training to underserved communities. GRID San Diego has installed over 880 solar electric systems for low-income households to-date, with a combined installed capacity of nearly 3 MW, saving $24 million in lifetime electricity costs and preventing 63,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. More than 2,000 people have also received training through the program. For more information, visit www.gridalternatives.org/sandiego.