O'Halleran Joins Colleagues to Invest in Solar Education and Training for Veterans

June 22, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (NV-03) announced the intoduction of her Solar Vocational Education and Training for our Servicemembers (VETS) Act, which would direct the U.S. Department of Energy to implement a workforce training program to help prepare our nation's transitioning military personnel for careers in the solar energy industry. Rosen introduced the bipartisan legislation with Reps. Steve Knight (R-CA), Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) and Tom O'Halleran (D-AZ).

Under the bill, active duty military personnel who expect to be released or discharged soon can participate in a training program that includes hands-on instruction, industry-accepted certification, and assistance with interview preparation. Towards the end of the course, students will be prepared to take the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification exam to earn a widely recognized credential for solar professionals. After completing the program, servicemembers would be highly competitive candidates for solar-related jobs. There is no out-of-pocket cost for servicemembers participating in the program.

“Ensuring Nevada’s veterans have access to long-term, good-paying job opportunities is a critical aspect of helping them transition back to civilian life, and the booming solar industry is a perfect way to harness their talents,” said Rep. Rosen. “Our bipartisan bill will provide solar-focused workforce training to our transitioning military servicemembers and support a pipeline of skilled workers to support our clean energy future.”

“Solar energy is one of the fastest growing industries in the country and around the world,” said Rep. Knight. “By giving specialized training in this field to our transitioning service members, we can help ensure a smooth and successful transfer to civilian life for our veterans. Here in Southern California, our geography and climate lend us to being a hub of development and innovation in this promising sector. I’m proud to be an original cosponsor of the Solar Ready Vets Act and would like to thank Congresswoman Rosen for her leadership on this issue.”

“Giving our returning servicemembers every opportunity to succeed in the workplace by connecting them to in-demand career opportunities has been a top priority of mine,” said Rep. O’Halleran. “Earlier this year, I successfully increased access to career education for transitioning veterans seeking federal firefighting careers, and the Solar Ready Vets Act builds on that momentum by providing training for jobs in the solar industry. These are smart, commonsense efforts that make sense in Arizona, which is home to a booming solar industry. Our veterans are uniquely poised for these 21st century careers, and I am proud of the bipartisan work to give them the tools to succeed after serving their nation.”  

“Making sure that our veterans in South Jersey have the training and tools to succeed in another career is vital to helping our men and women in uniform fully transition back into civilian life. Solar and other green energy sectors are strapped for highly trained workers, and are well suited to veterans and the skills they have learned in the military,” said Rep. MacArthur. “This bill provides high skilled training in solar energy to our service members stationed at the Joint Base who are transitioning to civilian life, and will help fill jobs in a rapidly expanding field.”