O’Halleran Leads Bipartisan Group to Introduce Legislation Expanding Solar Job Training for Veterans

March 11, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), along with Reps. Susie Lee (D-NV-03), Michael Waltz (R-FL-06), and Denver Riggleman (R-VA-05) introduced H.R.6176, the bipartisan Solar Vocational Education and Training for our Servicemembers (VETS) Act, legislation to establish a workforce training program to prepare America’s transitioning military personnel for careers in the solar energy industry.

This bipartisan bill directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to work with the Department of Defense (DOD) to select military bases that will offer the workforce training program based on the number of eligible servicemembers at the base and the viability of the nearby solar market. The program would:

  • be open to active duty military personnel who will be released or discharged within 6 months;
  • provide hands-on instruction and assistance with resume and interview preparation;
  • include a certification exam, such as the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), to earn an entry-level credential for solar professionals.

There is no out-of-pocket cost for servicemembers participating in the program.

“Setting our veterans up for success after they leave active duty service is a top priority of mine,” said Rep. O’Halleran. “This bipartisan bill establishes a program that makes servicemembers competitive candidates for solar-related jobs, a growing industry looking to employ highly-skilled professionals. This legislation is a commonsense effort that makes sense in Arizona, home to a booming solar industry and over 500,000 veterans. I am proud to introduce this legislation to create good-paying jobs for those that have served selflessly on our behalf.” 

“After putting their lives on the line, the least we can do to honor our servicemembers is to ensure they are on a path towards successful and stable careers,” said Rep. Lee. “It is our job in Congress to help provide resources and workforce training that gives our veterans the best shot at success. Nevada is home to both thousands of working veterans and one of the nation’s leading solar energy industries; I'm proud to support both. The Solar Vets Ready Act does just that by creating opportunities for Nevada veterans to secure good-paying jobs while improving our economy by strengthening our thriving solar industry.”  

“Our servicemembers make tremendous sacrifices on behalf of our country and our freedoms – and it only makes sense to provide them with the skills to succeed after their military careers end,” said Rep Waltz. “Florida is home to more than 1.5 million veterans and numerous solar energy companies. I’m proud to support this legislation to put our veterans on the path to good-paying jobs in this growing field in order to support themselves and their families.”

“The men and women of our Armed Forces make incredible sacrifices and it is our duty to support them when they return home,” said Rep. Riggleman. “I have made advocating for our veterans a priority of my time in Congress and the Solar Vets Ready Act will help train our vets and set them up to succeed.  I am proud to support this bill, which will provide training and create opportunities for veterans across the country.”

Text of the bill is available here