Solar Certifications Now Eligible For GI Bill Benefits

Solar Ready Vets Network increases accessibility of solar credentials for veterans

Washington, D.C., July 27, 2020 – The Solar Foundation, the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), and other partners in the Solar Ready Vets® Network have obtained approvals from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to make exam fees for solar industry credentials eligible for reimbursement under the GI Bill®. These new benefits will make it easier for military service members and veterans to obtain solar certifications and pursue career advancement in the American solar workforce. 

With this approval, transitioning service members and veterans can now apply for the reimbursement of exam fees associated with the NABCEP Photovoltaic Associate (PVA) Credential, as well as all solar Board Certifications, including: PV Installation Professional; PV Commissioning & Maintenance Specialist; PV Design Specialist; PV Installer Specialist; PV Technical Sales; and PV System Inspector. Established in 1944, the GI Bill covers costs associated with higher education and training programs for qualifying veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. 

A PV Associate Credential or Board Certification prepares individuals for careers in the solar industry and demonstrates their training and experience to potential employers. The PV Associate credential is most often the first step toward a NABCEP Board Certification, and lends added recognition in a field with many career paths to pursue.  

“With strong leadership, organizational, and technical skills, veterans are well suited for a range of solar careers,” said Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director at The Solar Foundation. “Now that solar industry credentials are more accessible for veterans, solar companies will have greater opportunity to hire diverse and highly qualified employees with military experience.”

This effort was completed under the Solar Opportunities and Readiness (SOAR) Initiative, which is led by The Solar Foundation with support from NABCEP and other partners. The SOAR Initiative engages solar industry leaders, certified training providers, and career development networks to strengthen veteran solar career pathways. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office as part of the Solar Ready Vets Network.

“Making NABCEP’s Board Certification and Associate credential exams eligible for GI Bill® benefits will improve the quality of the PV labor market and ensure the sustainability of the expanding solar industry,” said Shawn O’Brien, President and CEO of NABCEP. “We look forward to continuing our work with The Solar Foundation and the rest of the Solar Ready Vets Network to provide veterans with innovative solar career pathways that help facilitate a widespread transition to clean energy.”

“This is wonderful news for solar training providers and will help promote training around the country. Properly trained soldiers are highly desired and recruited by many solar companies and this will further the soldiers’ value in the workforce,” said Arthur Garno, Director of the SUNY Canton CREST Center. “We at SUNY Canton CREST look forward to providing veterans and transitioning service members with credentials needed to break into the solar industry.”

The Solar Foundation is actively seeking employer partners in the solar industry to become engaged in direct impact and capacity building initiatives through the Solar Ready Vets Network, as well as veterans or transitioning service members interested in solar careers. For more information on how to get involved, visit http://www.AmericanSolarWorkforce.org/SolarReadyVets

Veterans interested in learning more about solar industry career development are encouraged to join The Solar Foundation and NABCEP for a webinar, “Solar Training, Credentialing and Career Pathways” on  Wednesday, July 29, 1:00PM ET. Register here:https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/325340401243198989

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

 

About The Solar Foundation

The Solar Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate adoption of the world’s most abundant energy source. Through its leadership, research, and capacity building, The Solar Foundation creates transformative solutions to achieve a prosperous future in which solar and solar-compatible technologies are integrated into all aspects of our lives. Learn more at TheSolarFoundation.org.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Avery Palmer, The Solar Foundation, 202-302-2765, apalmer@solarfound.org