Tag: GRID Alternatives

After Prison, a Career in Solar Offered a Chance to Shine

Marc Spohn with Genevieve Fenwick and her family. GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic installed 12 solar panels on Fenwick's Baltimore row home in August 2016.
Marc Spohn with Genevieve Fenwick and her family. GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic installed 12 solar panels on Fenwick’s Baltimore row home in August 2016.

How does a person who has spent 26 years in prison, lacks a high school degree, and has little job experience, become a highly-paid solar installation supervisor in three years?

Marc Spohn’s journey from prison inmate to solar supervisor highlights the opportunities and challenges that face millions of Americans in career transitions. Spohn’s story also spotlights the support groups, solar work force development programs, and just plain special people, needed to help adults transition into family-sustaining careers. With our warming climate, a growing renewable manufacturing industry can help save our planet, and based on Marc’s story, can also help save people, too.

Looking for a Job? D.C. Solar Job Fair Hiring On the Spot

New solar installers learning how to install solar at a GRID Alternatives job site.
New solar installers training with GRID Alternatives at a Baltimore job site.

If you know of someone looking for a job, or specifically considering a career in solar, the free Solar Job Fair happening in D.C. on November 17  is an excellent start. Even better, you don’t need prior solar experience, and employers will be interviewing and hiring on the spot. The Solar Job Fair will coincide with the big Solar Focus 2016 at the Renaissance Washington.

GRID Alternatives Brings Solar to Baltimore’s Underserved One Panel at a Time

Volunteers installed the solar panels on Fenwick's Baltimore row home. GRID supervisors have trained 368 solar volunteers in the Mid-Atlantic since 2014.
GRID’s supervisors trained solar volunteers at the Fenwick solar installation. Solar installers can average $24 per hour.

Genevieve Fenwick lives in a classic row home in Baltimore’s Belair-Edison neighborhood. Living on a fixed income, Fenwick said, “I’m the last person on earth you’d expect to have 12 solar panels powering my row home.”

But thanks to GRID Alternatives, a nonprofit bringing renewable energy to underserved communities, the solar panels on Fenwick’s roof will soon be turning sunlight into electricity. What’s more impressive is GRID’s workforce training model. Of the 77 GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic installations since 2014, over 368 people have been trained as solar installers.  A win for Genevieve Fenwick, the planet, and Maryland’s labor market.