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.

Keyes Metcalf: Silicon Ranch Corporation

Keyes Metcalf joined Silicon Ranch Corporation as a Solar Ready Vets Fellow in January 2023, where he is now a Project Director. 

Keyes served in the U.S. Army for 25 years, where he was a Special Forces Green Beret. Originally from the rural town of Greensboro, Vermont, he worked across the U.S. and in 51 countries during his time in the Army. Having achieved everything he set out to do in the military, he wanted to pursue a meaningful second career. Through the Solar Ready Vets Fellowship, Keyes was approached by Silicon Ranch Corporation. Keyes recognized the importance of the energy industry, and the prospect of joining a sector that was rapidly growing resonated with him. 

His Solar Ready Vets Fellowship in Project Management was 12 weeks long and upon completion, he was hired on full time as a Project Director in May 2023. In this role, Keyes oversees the construction and delivery side of solar projects. His daily responsibilities include leading a small cross-functional team, scheduling, problem solving, and working as efficiently as possible.

Having strong relationships with his team and effective communication are what Keyes states are the most important parts of working in the solar industry. He added that there are many transferable skills that he learned in the army and took into his new career. Upon seeing his resume, a senior manager at Silicon Ranch remarked: “We can teach you solar, but we can’t teach you character. Based on your resume it seems like you’d be a good fit.” His communication skills transferred to the solar industry and allowed him to effectively work with his team.He has further developed his skills in planning and solution-based problem solving since starting at Silicon Ranch. 

Keye’s advice for anyone trying to get into the solar industry is that “it can be technical and a little daunting, but don’t fear the unknown. Ask the questions. You have all the tools you need to succeed.”. He also suggests looking at the Silicon Ranch Veteran’s Landing Zone and careers page