Tag: "veterans"

08/04/18

  09:01:00 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 199 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Commercial Solar, Residential Solar, Non-profit solar

Introducing Victoria Villalobos!

Victoria VillalobosRun on Sun is excited to introduce Victoria Villalobos as the latest member of the RoS Team!

Victoria comes to Run on Sun with more than ten years of project management experience.  Although new to the solar industry, Victoria is a very quick study and is already looking to help streamline operations - an area of particular expertise!

A dog lover herself, Victoria has already bonded with Prosper, the Solar Dog, and we especially were drawn to her passion for building relationships, connecting with folks from diverse backgrounds, and finding common ground.  

Victoria is also a ten-year Army veteran with deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan - so Southern California heat doesn’t phase her.  In her spare time, Victoria is studying to be an instructor for a national organization dedicated to healing the trauma of United States military veterans, and she takes great pride in doing what she can to strengthen the veteran’s community and welcome them home from service.

Bringing Victoria onboard increases our resolve as a company to do more to integrate vets into our operations, and we are eager to work with Victoria to make that resolve a reality.

Please join me in welcoming Victoria to the Run on Sun family!

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02/28/14

  08:58:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 479 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Commercial Solar, Ranting

Veterans in Solar

Unemployment is a continuing problem in California but for one group of our neighbors it is stubbornly higher still.  That group is our recent veterans—folks who volunteered to fight in our wars but when they muster out are finding anything but a grateful and welcoming work environment. Now the folks at The Solar Foundation and Operation Free are trying to highlight a potential bright spot for veteran employment: the solar industry.

First some background.  According to a Washington Post article, as of last October the unemployment rate for post 9/11 vets stood at 10 percent whereas the overall U.S. unemployment rate was 7.2%. The Post story cites numerous factors driving those numbers, including the depressingly high number of disabled vets, but one reason that could be addressed by nothing more than concerted action is this: lack of civilian work experience.  Think of it, many young vets went directly from school to service with no stops in the civilian work world.  They may be long on life experiences, but still very short on job experience.

According to the joint report issued by The Solar Foundation and Operation Free titled, Veterans in Solar, those numbers are even more stark when you focus on vets under the age of 24.  For that group, as of last December, a whopping 16% were unemployed.  Not much of a “thank you” for your service.

The solar industry, by comparison, has been a source of hope.  Out of an estimated workforce of roughly 143,000 people, the solar industry employs 13,192 veterans or 9.2% (this contrasts with vets making up just 7.6% of U.S. workers overall).  These jobs are distributed throughout the industry as illustrated by this chart:

Veterans in solar jobs by sector

Data source: Veterans in Solar; Graph by Run on Sun

Clearly, while veterans are able to work in a wide variety of positions throughout the entire solar industry, installation provides the easiest entre to the field.

The folks at The Solar Foundation and Operation Free are committed to not only documenting the role of veterans in the solar industry, but in facilitating their involvement in ever growing numbers.  One such example of their plans to aid veterans is the “creation of a skills transfer tool designed to help employers easily match skills obtained by veterans with those that are sought by leading solar companies.”

Here at Run on Sun, we like to think of ourselves as a “leading solar company,” and we would like to take part in this worthwhile effort.  So here is our commitment: On every commercial project that we install going forward, we will hire one or more veterans to work side-by-side with our NABCEP certified team, thereby giving those veterans the opportunity to learn the skills needed to participate in this industry from some of solar’s best.

Solar companies who would also care to support the hiring of our veterans can contact Andrea Luecke at The Solar Foundation or Jaclyn Houser at Operation Free.

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Jim Jenal is the Founder & CEO of Run on Sun, Pasadena's premier installer and integrator of top-of-the-line solar power installations.
Run on Sun also offers solar consulting services, working with consumers, utilities, and municipalities to help them make solar power affordable and reliable.

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