Did you know that the solar industry employs a higher-than-average percentage of veterans? In fact, veterans currently make up 8% of the solar workforce, compared to the 6% of veterans employed in other industries. So, what is it about solar energy that makes it such a natural fit for those with military experience? For starters, veterans develop characteristics like mission orientation and critical thinking during their training and service. These traits become inherent and are just what is needed when working in the solar industry.
Veterans are exposed to intense working conditions in the military requiring integrity, critical thinking, teamwork and leadership. At SunPower, we have a manifesto that embodies these characteristics. It goes a little something like this:
Here are just a few ways that veterans are helping solar companies like SunPower meet the mission at hand.
Savers of the World
Veterans are mission driven. In the case of the military, this is for defense of our country, but with solar energy there is a similar sense of mission. Solar electric generation creates environmental benefits by reducing dependency on fossil fuels and contributing to a cleaner planet. Being a true saver of the world requires staying on task when things get tough and keeping the larger goal in mind.
In both the military and solar, there is an overarching sense of altruism and accomplishment because these efforts serve the greater good. Veterans know the importance of a mission and naturally bring that purpose driven passion with them into the solar industry. At SunPower, our mission is to change how our world is powered and our veteran workforce helps us get one step closer each day.
Veterans have developed critical thinking skills from being exposed to challenges in and out of combat. These situations create a solution-orientated mindset that follows veterans throughout their careers.
Likewise, veterans understand the need for teamwork and completing objectives with the assistance of others. They have no problem accomplishing goals in team environments. And when necessary, they can easily transition into leadership roles regardless of their position. It’s a standard skill set developed early on during service with the military.
Veterans are the ultimate off-gridders. They are extremely self-sufficient, often needing to operate in remote locations and harsh climates. This resiliency helps them during times of stress in the workplace or when challenges present themselves.
Solar energy has similar qualities. For one thing, it helps create a more resilient power grid. Solar energy is a reliable source of power during extreme weather events like wildfires when paired with storage. And due to its ability to generate power straight from a renewable source like the sun, solar energy is beneficial a variety of environments. SunPower’s high-efficiency solar panels are specifically designed to generate more power than conventional solar cells. Their unique, light-trapping surface allows them to soak in more sunlight even on cloudy days.
The very mission of the military is to protect our nation’s freedom. Service members are even prepared to put their lives on the line for this right. But protecting the freedom of Americans comes with great responsibility. Doing the right thing is inherent to the military. Honesty is an ingrained value of service members because lives depend on it. In peacekeeping and combat operations doing the right thing is imperative to protect the unit, the mission and fellow service members. This creates a sense of trust and focus that allows military veterans to stay on task and operate with integrity.
SunPower also strives to give homes and businesses world-class solutions that provide freedom from rising utility prices and power outages. But beyond that, SunPower is committed to maintaining a clean supply chain that aligns with SEIA’s Solar Supply Chain Traceability Protocol.
The awesome news is there is a great place for veterans in the solar industry. Better yet, it’s a growing field that requires many of the assets one brings from the military. We welcome you to join SunPower’s mission to change the way the world is powered by browsing our careers page or adding solar energy to your own home. SunPower offers veterans an exclusive $1,000 VISA Reward Card Rebate when they choose the world’s best solar.