IREC leads the Solar Ready Vets Fellowship in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program. Offered at no cost, the fellowship matches solar industry employers with service members who are in transition from the military to the civilian workforce.

Eric Rodsa: McCarthy Building Companies

Eric Rodsa joined McCarthy Building Companies as a Solar Ready Vets Fellow in January 2023, where he is now a Battery Energy Storage Systems Pre-Construction Assistant Manager. 

Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, Eric joined the Air Force when he was 21 years old and served for 12 years. He was stationed in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. He started his military career as a Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory Technician (PMEL) and moved up to an Operations Technician position, followed by management positions in Procurement, Quality, and Operations, where he worked in calibrating, troubleshooting, and repairing electrical equipment. He got his BS in Business Administration from Park University in Missouri and an MBA from Grand Canyon University. 

As he transitioned out of the Air Force, Eric joined the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program, which connected him to the Solar Ready Vets Fellowship opportunity. He had never considered working in the solar or construction industry, but after reviewing fellowship opportunities with 45 different companies, McCarthy stood out to Eric because of the company culture and strong affinity for veteran talent. With McCarthy, he spent his fellowship working in the Operations and Maintenance, Warranty, and SCADA departments of their Renewables sector. His background in engineering services and experience as a senior level technician made him a great fit to ultimately join a new, specialized engineering team created to help the company handle the increase in battery storage projects.

Eric stated that remaining open minded throughout the fellowship helped him absorb as much as possible. Additionally, he developed valuable networking and professional development skills, such as translating his military experience to a civilian employer.  

After he completed his fellowship, Eric was the first hire on the new battery storage team, where he now works as the Battery Energy Storage Systems Pre-Construction Assistant Manager. Eric’s job entails the design and layout for battery storage systems during pre-construction, coordinating design logistics, and managing external engineers for specific engineering scopes. 

He is part of a core team of four McCarthy employees and finds that the skills he uses most in his work include solution-based problem solving, communication, strategic planning, analytical thinking, and attention to detail. 

When reflecting on why he wanted to get into the solar industry, Eric stated: “honestly, because it was so new.” His family has solar on their home and he was interested in the level of impact he could make by working in the renewable energy sector. His advice for people who want to get into the industry is “to figure out a way to incorporate your skill sets and experience in the position you’re interested in. Find a way to feel confident that you belong in that position…don’t sell yourself short.” Eric encourages interested job seekers to keep learning about solar and find the right position for them.