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The Solar Ready Vets® Network (SRVN) is a solar workforce development program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) that connects veterans, transitioning military service members, and military spouses with career training, professional development, and employment opportunities in the solar industry. The Network builds upon DOE’s Solar Ready Vets pilot program that launched in 2014.

Through new funding from SETO in 2023, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, along with project partners the Solar Energy Industries Association, Hiring our Heroes, Solar Energy International, and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, will expand SRVN with the goal of increasing the pipeline of military-connected talent (veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses) into the U.S. solar industry. 

Program Objectives

The third phase of SRVN (2023-2025) includes four primary objectives:

  1. Expand and promote solar industry SkillBridge opportunities for transitioning service members: SRVN will connect service members with existing Department of Defense-approved SkillBridge programs that provide training aligned with solar occupations at all levels of the workforce and engage employer partners to take full advantage of these train-to-hire pipelines. Concurrently, to align worker skillsets to the targeted needs of solar employers, the program will develop, pilot, and encourage the use of a standardized solar SkillBridge model aligned with industry credentials.
  2. Advance Registered Apprenticeship Pathways for solar industry careers: SRVN will advance efforts to create and expand Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs) for in-demand occupations across the solar industry and will support veteran enrollment in registered apprenticeships aligned with solar career pathways. The program will coordinate with industry, labor unions, and training and education providers to develop and deliver high-quality technical assistance resources for employers to utilize RAPs for existing Department of Labor (DOL)-approved occupations to develop a skilled solar workforce with military-connected talent.
  3. Support solar career navigation and connections for veterans: Through targeted recruitment channels, transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses will be referred to SRVN and connected to resources to support them in navigating solar career pathways, including union apprenticeship opportunities. SRVN will also facilitate direct connections between veteran talent and solar employers through hiring fairs and mentorship opportunities.
  4. Share tools and resources for employers to recruit and retain military talent: SRVN will engage solar industry employers with tools and resources focused on recruiting and retaining military talent at all levels of the workforce. Ensuring high quality career opportunities for military talent is an important component of the solar industry’s broader diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice goals, and will be advanced through a variety of technical assistance resources, with opportunity for employers to pursue and earn national recognition, such as through the DOL HIRE Vets Medallion.

Learn more about the network on the SRVN homepage.

How to Get Involved

Veterans and service members, solar industry employers, veterans career services, and workforce development organizations are invited to join the Solar Ready Vets Network to receive program updates, relevant resources, and stay current on opportunities and upcoming events. Anyone who expresses interest in a SkillBridge program will be contacted directly by the SRVN team.

History of the Solar Ready Vets Network

In 2014, DOE launched Solar Ready Vets as a pilot program, led by the Solar Foundation, to prepare U.S. veterans for careers as photovoltaic system installers, sales representatives, system inspectors, and other roles in the solar industry. In 2017, Solar Ready Vets became an independent program administered by participating military bases, using tools and partnerships developed during the pilot phase. More than 500 students graduated from the pilot program. Learn more about the original Solar Ready Vets program.

Information Resources

Learn more about SETO's soft costs research.