Expert Advice on Green Buildings

Nonprofits Help Veterans Find Green Jobs


According to the San Mateo County Times, former Marine Jarom Vahai founded Green and Gold Careers in 2011 - a nonprofit dedicated to placing veterans in green jobs.

The organization has formed partnerships with companies such as Clear-Wall and Tesla Motors, which have and will continue to hire veterans referred to them through Green and Gold Careers.

Green and Gold Careers is just one local initiative for placing veterans in green jobs. In fact, five energy providers have formed a partnership called Troops to Energy Jobs, which trains and places veterans in green energy jobs.

Green Jobs for Veterans

The federal government has made a commitment to bringing back the bulk of American servicemen and women from Iraq and Afghanistan in the near future. White House data says more than 1 million of these individuals will return to civilian life by 2016, and 3 million have already integrated back into American society.

Despite their high level of professional skills, many of these individuals struggle to land a job after leaving the military. According to the White House, the veteran unemployment rate was 13.1 percent in December 2011, which is higher than the overall rate of 8.5 percent.

However, many veterans are finding that the skills they gained in military work transition well to green and energy jobs.

In fact, The Atlantic reports that there is a shortage of employees with manufacturing skills in the U.S., especially in the green sector. This is a place where many veterans can excel because of their technical training.

Professional Certification For Veterans Seeking Wind and Solar Energy Jobs

The White House recently announced a national effort designed to assist returning military personnel with their return to civilian life. Called Joining Forces, this program provides employment resources that allow veterans to find civilian jobs that match their unique skill sets.

Similarly, five of the nation’s largest energy providers have formed a partnership called Troops to Energy Jobs, which provides energy job training for veterans.

Veterans interested in renewable energy jobs may also want to seek additional education and professional certification in their specific field. This may help set their candidacy apart when they apply for wind and solar energy jobs.

For example, the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) offers certification for small wind, photovoltaic and solar thermal installers. Similarly, the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) provides accreditation for energy auditors, energy managers, green engineers and sustainability technicians, among others.

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