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SPC Trains Vets for…

Innovative St. Philip’s College, Energy and Defense Department partnership trains vets for solar energy jobs
Solar Ready Vets

SPC Trains Vets for Solar Energy Jobs

Local armed forces members are transitioning to sunnier futures before they leave the military. Several are enrolled at St. Philip’s College while on active duty through the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Ready Vets Training program June 12–Aug. 4.

In 2016, the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense announced St. Philip’s College as an education partner in a six-week intensive solar workforce training program designed to provide transitioning armed forces members with the highest quality professional skills to prepare them for potential employment in the local solar industry. St. Philip’s College alternative energy and power generation faculty and Department of Energy master instructors are training select service members from the Joint Base San Antonio area in this partnership as part of the federal SunShot Initiative's Solar Ready Vets training program that will serve GIs at 10 bases nationwide.

The San Antonio area version of this national program allows students the benefit of regular maintenance and monitoring studies with the seven-year-old 400-kilowatt grid-tied rooftop solar array at the Green Energy Campus Demonstration Project on the college’s Southwest Campus at 800 Quintana Road. The array was funded in 2010 by a $2 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant through the U.S. Department of Energy and demonstrates the feasibility of producing electricity via renewable technologies in decentralized locations. The college’s array is the largest non-commercial rooftop solar installation in San Antonio and doubles as a lab for student training, and the pole mount solar and wind project, in front of the Southwest Campus, was built by students in the college’s degree program.

On June 14, several Alamo Colleges District Corporate College employees began helping the veterans civilianize their resumes before registered employers actually interview these candidates for employment.

“They were doing it big in Germany,” Army Master Sgt. Jeremy Ortiz, a senior career counselor, shared during the June 14 resume refining session. “ When I saw that, I said I want to be in the field.” “I moved here from Fort Hood (a large base in Killeen) because of this course,” said Ortiz.

A mix of in-class and outdoor activity, the dates of the current class are June 12–Aug. 4, and one highlight of the July 3 class day will occur when the sun should be shining at 2 p.m. as students perform solar panel installations. For details on the current class and future classes, contact Daniel Sherry, Alamo Colleges District Workforce Technical Trainer II, at 210-485-0871, dsherry3@alamo.edu, or Colin Nichols, director of the Corporate College at Alamo Colleges District, 210-485-0817, cnichols34@alamo.edu. For details on the St. Philip’s College Good Samaritan Veterans Outreach and Transition Center operations, contact center director William Moseley at 210-486-2506, wmoseley1@alamo.edu - spc-gsvotc@alamo.com.

CAPTION: Local transitioning armed forces members review coursework during a class in alternative energy and power generation June 14 at the St. Philip’s College Southwest Campus. The students are enrolled in the college’s current U.S. Department of Energy Solar Ready Vets Training program, a six-week intensive solar workforce training program designed to provide transitioning armed forces members with the highest quality professional skills to prepare them for potential employment in the local solar industry. (SPC image by Patrick Evans)

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