While at Utah’s Hill Air Force Base last week on Friday, April 3, President Obama talked about the new Solar Ready Vets Program, which will use Salt Lake Community College to train transitioning military veterans for entry into the solar industry workforce. SLCC has been offering solar training since 2009 and was singled out during the President’s visit as the leader in the Rocky Mountain Region of the national network. The Rocky Mountain Solar Training Provider network includes 14 states, 8 of which are active within the network. Thaniel Bishop, was among the small number of individuals who met with the President. He is the lead instructor for the solar program at SLCC’s Green Academy/Energy Institute.
Standing next to an array of solar panels at Hill Air Force Base, President Barack Obama announced Friday the base will participate in a new program aimed at employing veterans in the solar energy industry. The Solar Ready Vets is part of the administration’s overall goal of employing 75,000 people around the country in the solar energy industry by 2020. Salt Lake Community College is the lead institution for the Rocky Mountain Solar Provider Training Program. Judy Fisher, who also met with the President, is coordinator for that program. She recently worked with Marines at Camp Pendleton, California, who just completed a pilot project for such training. Camp Pendleton was among the initial three bases to pilot the Solar Ready Vets program, Hill Air Force Base is the fourth base.
“Companies that were there to interview them were incredibly impressed by their passion and their skills and the newly gained solar knowledge they had,” she said. All of the graduates were offered jobs in the industry.