Shortly after marking its expansion into Mexico, U.S. nonprofit solar installer and trainer GRID Alternatives has announced a $500,000 grant from Bank of America Charitable Foundation to support its SolarCorps Fellowship Program. This national grant builds on the bank’s past support for GRID in locations in California and Colorado.
The SolarCorps Fellowship Program has up to 60 fellows working with GRID in multiple states across the country. Participants gain hands-on training and leadership skills to jump-start their clean energy careers while working to expand access to solar power and job training in underserved communities. SolarCorps also receives funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service.
“It is critical that we work together to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and ensure more sustainable communities,” says Alex Liftman, global environmental executive at Bank of America. “Through job training and other support this program is creating economic mobility in underserved communities and making a positive difference by reducing energy costs, providing high-growth jobs, and helping to preserve the environment now and for generations to come. We’re excited to support this innovative program.”
Fellows of the SolarCorps Fellowship Program spend a year of paid service in GRID Alternatives’ offices, helping install solar electric systems for an estimated 1,500 low-income households and providing solar training to the 5,000 volunteers and job trainees who participate in GRID projects. The program started in 2006 with support from AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA and was expanded in 2015 to become GRID’s premier job training experience, preparing individuals from diverse backgrounds for successful careers in renewable energy. Past fellows have advanced to become installers, electricians, project leads, directors and principals at leading solar companies, energy consultancies, finance firms and other renewable energy businesses.
“The SolarCorps program is an incubator for our next generation of leaders, helping to create a clean energy economy that includes and benefits all of our communities,” says GRID Alternatives CEO and Co-founder Erica Mackie. “We’re thrilled to have Bank of America as a strategic partner in this work.”