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This generation of veterans are well prepared to enter the civilian workforce and opportunities like those that exist in the solar industry not only offer high-skilled jobs, but also help strengthen our national security by securing America with clean energy.Katherine Hammack, Asst. Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy, and Environment

 

In February 2014, for the first time ever, the significant contributions of military veterans to the solar industry have been documented in a joint report from The Solar Foundation and Operation Free. The brief report, Veterans in Solar: Securing America’s Energy Future, shows that the U.S. solar industry employs 13,192 veterans of the armed forces, a figure which represents 9.2% of all solar workers in the nation, exceeding the percentage of veteran employment in the overall economy. Importantly, the report also explores the challenges of connecting highly-skilled military veterans with positions in the solar industry that match their abilities. Because of the scope of this challenge, this report is meant to be an introductory look that warrants further data collection and analysis. Read the report below for more details and future steps to expand opportunities for veterans in solar energy.

Update: On February 26, the the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing on “American Energy Jobs: Opportunities for Veterans.” The hearing fostered a positive discussion on the opportunities and challenges related to hiring veterans into the energy industry. In their statements, Representative Rush Holt and CEO of Clean Power Finance Nat Kreamer made multiple references to our solar jobs data.

Following the hearing, Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee Representative Peter DeFazio released a statement in support of the Veterans in Solar: Securing America’s Energy Future report.