Vivint Solar to partner on Obama solar jobs initiative

One of the leading installers of residential solar PV systems in the U.S. has announced it is to act as recruitment partner for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) new solar jobs initiative.

Vivint Solar will work with the DOE to recruit and train former U.S. military personnel under the newly unveiled Solar Ready Vets program – an initiative designed to add 75,000 army veterans to the solar industry workforce by 2020.

Presented on Good Friday at Utah’s Hill Air Force base, the Obama-backed program is designed to fuel solar’s growth, swelling the ranks of trained professionals nationwide from 174,000 today to more than 250,000 by 2020.

The program will be expanded to 10 military bases across the country, and Vivint Solar is eager to work with the DOE every step of the way.

"The solar industry is growing rapidly, adding jobs 10 times faster than the rest of the economy," said Vivint Solar CEO Greg Butterfield. "We are excited to see the Solar Ready Vets program expand and we will continue to support our nation’s veterans in our hiring programs."

In February, Vivint Solar previously worked alongside the DOE on its Reach for the Sun program, offering jobs to 20 graduates of that program, and the company is hoping to do something similar with the Solar Ready Vets initiative, which is intending to train transitioning military service individuals for careers as either installers, solar sales representatives, system inspectors and other industry-related roles.

According to recent data published by GTM Research, Vivint Solar accounted for 13% of all U.S. residential solar installations in 2014, behind SolarCity, which installed 34% of all residential arrays.