The Solar Ready Vets Fellowship is implemented by the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program with support from IREC and Solar Energy Industries Association.
This program is offered to employers at no cost and supports a smooth transition from active duty to leadership roles in the civilian solar workforce. Through this process, employers gain access to a natural recruitment pipeline of the best and brightest transitioning military talent, while gaining a deeper understanding of the veteran labor market.
Featured Solar Ready Vets Fellow: Cameron Niccum
Cameron Niccum launched his solar career as a Solar Ready Vets Fellow at FTC Solar in Austin, Texas, where he continues to serve as a Supply Chain Manager.
With a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from West Point, Cameron commissioned as an Infantry Officer in 2016 at Fort Benning, Georgia. Rising from platoon leader to squadron logistics officer over his military career, he was responsible for the deployment and maintenance of over $50 million of equipment, and provided logistical support for 180 personnel while deployed to Iraq and Syria. When he decided to transition toward a civilian career, he set his sights on helping to scale solar technology and accelerate the transition to a renewable energy future.
Featured Solar Ready Vets Fellow: Desmine Greene
Desmine Greene enlisted in the Army as a Senior Logistician at Ft Bragg, North Carolina, was commissioned as a Platoon Leader and Executive Officer and later served as Company Commander and Support Operations Officer with the 82nd Airborne Division, specializing in parachute and logistics operations.
During his service, he deployed twice with 82nd ABN DIV to Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. This week, he completed his Fellowship with Standard Energy Solutions, where his experience coordinating and ensuring personnel and operational readiness has proved highly transferable to managing inventory and tracking project completion, and leading a cohesive and highly effective team. He will continue to apply his extensive operational management experience as Branch Manager in Richmond, VA, as the company continues to grow and expand across the region.
Host a Fellow
If you’re ready to host a Solar Ready Vets Fellow, please review the program information on this page and send an email to Becky Long, Senior Program Manager at the Solar Energy Industries Association [email protected].
If you’re interested in staying up to date on fellowship cohorts and other opportunities, join the Solar Ready Vets Network and indicate your interest in the program.
Brian DesmondDirector of Operations, Standard Energy Solutions
“The level of candidates from Hiring Our Heroes was exceptional. All the candidates we met were highly professional individuals, each offering a wide range of experience leading teams to accomplish a goal/mission.”
Fellowship Program at a Glance
- Highly qualified mid-to-senior level service members are placed with solar industry employers in three cohorts per year for 12 weeks of on-the-job training, intended to lead to employment.
- Candidates are matched with participating companies based on their specific knowledge and skills, and the preferences of both parties.
- Fellowships are focused in professional roles requiring a Bachelor’s degree and leadership experience, such as project management, business development, operations & logistics, etc.
- Solar Ready Vets Fellows receive a “Solar 101” pre-placement curriculum, which includes an orientation to the technical, market, and policy dimensions of the solar industry.
- This program is offered to employers at no cost. The fellows are still considered active duty and will receive their military salaries and benefits throughout the 12 weeks.
Fellows’ education, experience, and individual skill sets are commensurate with management / professional roles such as (but not limited to): Business development, project development, project management, construction management, policy/government relations, engineering/system design, logistics/supply chain, quality assurance, research/data analysis, operations/asset management, communications/marketing, finance/accounting, IT/Software, and human resources.
Featured Solar Ready Vets Fellow: Josh Kenyon
Josh Kenyon was a Solar Ready Vets fellow at Core Development Group from January-April 2021, and then transitioned to a role as Development Manager. He joined the fellowship program after a long and successful career in the U.S. Air Force. The fellowship allowed him to move back home with his family near Saratoga, New York and take on a leadership role at Core Development Group, a turnkey solar developer that manages commercial and utility-scale projects. “It was an awesome opportunity to transfer from military life back to civilian life in a smooth way,” Josh says.
How it Works
1. Sign up to receive resumes
Hiring Our Heroes leads the Solar Ready Vets Fellowship placement process. Once your company is approved, the Hiring Our Heroes program manager based in the geographic region where you are looking for talent will be in touch with you to confirm your company’s interest for each upcoming cohort. The Program Manager will then share candidate resumes for your review.
2. Interview fellowship candidates
Companies should independently set up interviews with fellowship candidates for roles where they have an open requisition by the deadline provided by the program managers. Candidates typically interview with several employers. Remember that you are competing with other employers and other industries for talent, so it is best to complete your interviews early!
3. Fellowship matching process
Fellowship candidates rank their top companies, and companies rank their top candidates. Hiring Our Heroes program managers then review the rankings and place fellows at companies where there is a good match.
4. Host your Solar Ready Vets Fellow(s)
The program runs for 12 weeks, during which time the fellow is on-the-job with the employer from Monday – Thursday. This real-world experience is augmented by weekly Friday professional development sessions led by Hiring Our Heroes. Program managers will check in periodically with fellows and employers to ensure a positive experience.
Towards the end of the fellowship, employers are encouraged to speak directly with fellows and make full-time job offers to fellows who they would like to bring on after the fellowship ends.
Upon completion of the fellowship, 92% of fellows are offered full-time employment.
Our Track Record
Solar Ready Vets Fellows have filled leadership and management roles with diverse solar companies. Read a case study to learn more about the immense value that Solar Ready Vets Fellows offer to employers on day one.
Upcoming Program Dates
2022 Cohort 1: January 17 – March 31
Application Deadline: 10/22/21
2022 Cohort 2: May 9 – July 22
Application Deadline: 3/04/22
2022 Cohort 3: August 6 – November 18
Application Deadline: 06/17/22
Nick De VriesSenior Vice President of Technology & Asset Management at Silicon Ranch; US Army Veteran
“The key thing to make the program work is executive interest. We know at every level of the company that this matters… we all understand that [hiring veterans] is important for our growth and important for our country”