O’Halleran, Waltz Re-introduce Legislation Expanding Solar Job Training for Veterans

May 28, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, ahead of Memorial Day on Monday, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-01) and Congressman Michael Waltz (R-FL-06) re-introduced the Solar Vocational Education and Training for our Servicemembers (VETS) Act, bipartisan legislation to establish a workforce training program to prepare America’s transitioning military personnel for careers in the solar energy industry.

“Our veterans have put themselves in harm’s way for the safety of our nation; it is a top priority of mine to ensure they have the tools they need to succeed after they leave active duty,” said Rep. O’Halleran. “I’m proud to re-introduce commonsense legislation that makes servicemembers competitive candidates for a growing field full of good-paying jobs, strengthening our economy and Arizona’s solar industry in the process.”

The bipartisan bill directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to work with the Department of Defense (DOD) to select military bases that will offer a 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.\

“Veterans should be afforded a menu of options as they adjust to life outside the military and this is an important step to help them transition to the workforce,” said Rep. Waltz. “Expanding access to vocational training and education will allow our veterans the ability to find careers in the much-needed solar industry. As we look to reestablish solar production in Florida and across America, we should equip these businesses with the hardest working Americans.”

View text of the bill, HERE.