Empower America, a nonprofit coalition that hires U.S. service veterans to construct solar-energy projects featuring American-made solar products, today announced a partnership with SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer for more than 35 years. Under the partnership, the solar manufacturer will serve as the primary solar-panel and racking supplier for Empower-America-developed solar projects.
Focused in Southern California, the partnership follows a wave of legislation in cities and counties throughout the region that strengthens these governments’ commitments to solar-energy development and job creation for military veterans.
The Los Angeles City Council, for example, last week created a new citywide position: veteran affairs coordinator, whose responsibilities will include fostering job opportunities for veterans in renewable energy.
In 2012, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the Valor Act, a resolution directing county staff to identify programs and policies to prepare veterans of the armed forces for careers in clean energy. A similar resolution is proposed in San Bernardino County.
“The point of creating a veteran affairs coordinator is to help L.A. veterans get the help they need and the benefits they’ve earned,” said Los Angeles City Council Member Eric Garcetti, who sponsored creation of the position. “The help they need includes creating job opportunities in growing employment fields. I envision the coordinator working with employers, such as Empower America, to create job opportunities in renewable energy to help veterans and our economy in tandem.”