Local community training program provides Native American tribal members with hands-on training
Representatives from RES were recently invited to participate in a solar build educational event through GRID Alternatives’ Tribal PV Internship Program. This program brings together Native Americans from reservations across the country and provides them with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience on active solar jobsites, complete OSHA 10 safety training, and connect with people from companies in the solar industry.
During the visit to the GRID Alternatives’ Tribal Program PV jobsite in Boulder, Colorado, representatives from RES’ Diversity & Inclusion Team made a $3,500 donation to the program, introduced ten interns to RES and discussed career options in the solar industry.
Many interns shared examples of the energy challenges facing their individual Tribal communities, including exploitation by extractive based industries and the lack of access to renewable energy and renewable energy related jobs. Their hope is that by learning about solar they can assist their Tribes’ energy self – determination efforts and help bring renewable energy opportunities to their communities.
According to one intern, “Before, I was just trying to get any basic job to get by. Now I am pursuing getting a job in a huge and growing solar business, so I don’t have to worry about a career for the future.”
Beth Copanas, RES Director of Solar Engineering, said “It was an honor to meet with this dynamic group of interns. My hope is to continue to collaborate and find ways to connect the work RES is doing in different sectors of the solar markets to ensure a future where everyone has access to affordable zero carbon energy.”
The Tribal Program project in Boulder, Colorado is a 632 kW DC fixed tilt system that will provide electricity to benefit Boulder Housing Partners, which provides affordable housing options to low and moderate income households.
RES is the world’s largest independent renewable energy company, active in onshore and offshore wind, solar, energy storage, transmission and distribution.