Bank of America renewed its partnership with GRID Alternatives, a nonprofit solar + storage installer in the U.S., with a $300,000 investment in GRID’s SolarCorps Fellowship Program. The funding will support GRID’s 37 SolarCorps Fellows in obtaining hands-on experience, mentorship, professional development, and increased knowledge about a career in renewable energy.
“Bank of America is a champion of our SolarCorps Fellows Program, and their support is critical to helping GRID advance equity by providing valuable experience to individuals from the communities we serve, while helping communities gain access to renewable energy solutions,” said Erica Mackie, GRID CEO and Co-Founder. “Thank you to Bank of America for their support.”
GRID Alternatives rules, if you didn’t know. Its mission is to build community-powered solutions to advance economic and environmental justice through renewable energy across the United States, in sovereign Tribal nations, and internationally. GRID won a Solar Builder Project of the Year Award in 2021:
“Demand for solar energy continues to grow and that demand is driving the need for more solar industry workers,” said Alex Liftman, Global Environmental Executive at Bank of America. “We are at a moment in time when we can create access to clean energy and clean energy jobs in underrepresented communities like never before. That’s why we are pleased to support SolarCorps and the broader mission of GRID Alternatives, which are helping to meet that demand and creating healthy communities and economic mobility in the process.”
GRID’s workforce development and training programs have resulted in over 33,000 trainees, students, and volunteers gaining valuable experience in solar installations and construction, and outreach and community solar education. Diversifying the solar workforce with highly qualified employees is part of GRID’s mission, and it is critical to the continued growth of the renewable energy sector.
GRID demonstrates its commitment to a just workforce transition by serving those who are typically underrepresented in the energy industry, including women and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)-identifying individuals. GRID also recruits job training participants from economic and environmental justice communities located in its affiliate offices’ regions, including California (Riverside County, LA County, Sacramento, Fresno, Oakland, San Diego); Denver and Kingman Park in Colorado; and Washington, DC. These projects exclusively benefit under-resourced households, defined as an annual household income that is 80% or below the area’s median income.
Since 2014, 422 people have served as SolarCorps Fellows, and the hands-on experience helped 73% of them get their next job following the fellowship. Bank of America has provided $1.85 million in funding and supported 200 Fellows since 2017 and has provided a total of $2.195 million in funding to GRID (including the SolarCorps Fellowship Program) since 2010.
— Solar Builder magazine