GRID Alternatives Leads Veterans Day Solar Installation for Swords to Plowshares Veteran Job Trainees

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Military Veterans Gain Hands-On Solar Installation Job Training Experience

Veterans Build Solar Panels at April 2011 "Green Jobs" Graduation

"The partnership between Swords to Plowshares and Grid Alternatives addresses our systemic veteran unemployment crisis while furthering the adoption of renewable technologies."

Event Location and Time: 72 Garnett Terrace, San Francisco, CA 94124; Nov. 11-12 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

In recognition of Veterans Day, GRID Alternatives will provide a two-day hands-on training experience for local Swords to Plowshares veterans. Guided by GRID Alternatives’ professional staff, veterans in the Swords to Plowshares Green Job Training program will install a solar electric system on the home of a low-income family in San Francisco’s Bayview district. Swords to Plowshares helps make the transition to civilian life easier for veterans by offering comprehensive services and programs and by working with organizations like GRID Alternatives to give veterans the experience necessary to find meaningful employment in the civilian workforce.

“The partnership between Swords to Plowshares and Grid Alternatives addresses our systemic veteran unemployment crisis while furthering the adoption of renewable technologies that will help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Ian Thomson member of the board of directors for GRID Alternatives and member of the Marines' Memorial Association. “I hope that this is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.”

Three Bay Area veterans committed to building sustainable communities while training veterans have raised more than $7,000 to sponsor the hands-on training experience this Veterans Day: GRID Alternatives board member Ian Thomson; Alicia Washkevich, Sierra Club and Brian Wiechowski, Navy veteran. Thanks to their efforts, funding for the installation has been raised through individual contributions and generous donations from Sungevity and the Sierra Club.

“The transition from military culture to the civilian workforce can be challenging. Veterans can be unsure about how to apply for and how to interview for a job, and employers are often hesitant to hire veterans who lack experience in civilian jobs, said Anthony Sordini, Swords to Plowshares Green Jobs Training program manager and veteran. “By partnering with GRID Alternatives, Swords to Plowshares is able to bridge the experience gap for veterans pursuing employment in the green economy.”

Metrics for the Veterans Day Installation*:

  •     6 PV solar energy modules
  •     1.20 kW of clean, renewable energy
  •     67,313 lifetime kWh production
  •     $11,210 value savings, system lifetimes
  •     38 tons of greenhouse gas emissions prevented

*As of 11/11/2011

For more information about GRID Alternatives, go to: and

About GRID Alternatives
GRID Alternatives is a non-profit solar installer that trains and leads teams of volunteers and job trainees to install solar electric systems for low-income families throughout California. The mission of GRID Alternatives is to empower communities in need by providing renewable energy and energy efficiency services, equipment and training. Since 2004, GRID has installed over 1,200 solar electric systems and provided hands-on solar installation training over 7,000 community members statewide. These systems represent over 3.0 MW of generating capacity, which translates to over $28.6 million in energy cost savings over the systems' projected life spans, while preventing 98,300 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. GRID Alternatives also manages the Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program, part of the California Solar Initiative that is funded by California ratepayers under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). For more information, please visit and follow us at

About Swords to Plowshares’ mission is to heal the wounds of war, to restore dignity, hope, and self-sufficiency to all veterans in need, and to significantly reduce homelessness and poverty among veterans. Founded in 1974, Swords to Plowshares is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that provides counseling and case management, employment and training, housing and legal assistance to veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area. They promote and protect the rights of veterans through advocacy, public education and partnerships with local, state and national entities. Their programs have been a pathway and excellent resource for veterans seeking employment and job training opportunities for 38 years. Programs such as their Green Technology Training are offered at no cost to qualified veterans.


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Colleen Corliss

Lara Edge