GRID Alternatives, a national leader in making clean, affordable solar power and solar jobs accessible to economic and environmental justice communities, announces a major partnership renewal from Bank of America to support GRID’s SolarCorps Fellowship Program.
A $300,000 grant from Bank of America is helping to fund the SolarCorps Fellowship Program, which has up to 40 SolarCorps Fellows complete one-year, full-time paid positions focusing on solar installation, community outreach, and workforce development in GRID offices across the country. Throughout their year of service, participants from diverse backgrounds gain valuable experience and skills in the solar energy and nonprofit industries, helping to launch their renewable energy careers, while making significant contributions to the communities GRID serves.
“Our Fellows are working on inspiring projects during their time at GRID,” says Courtney Williams, National SolarCorps Program Director, “We are so excited to see what this talented group will continue to do throughout their careers, and we are grateful to work with Bank of America to bring meaningful on-the-ground training to the participants.”
Bank of America has supported the SolarCorps Fellowship Program since 2017, contributing $1.2 million in grant funding to this initiative. Today’s announcement builds on the bank’s environmental focus to support the growth of clean energy jobs as well as expanding access to renewable energy in our local communities.
“Partnering with GRID Alternatives on its workforce development program supports our commitment to the environment and access to clean energy jobs for Black, Hispanic-Latino, and Native American communities,” said Alex Liftman, global environmental executive at Bank of America. “At the same time, GRID Alternatives is doing important work to expand access to clean, affordable energy in communities that previously have not had access to such power sources.”
GRID’s job training and operations faced a unique challenge at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and had to quickly adopt new, safe training practices. With financial support from organizations like Bank of America, which gave an additional $100,000 to support GRID’s general services, GRID has been able to continue its mission advancing economic and environmental justice through renewable energy while giving SolarCorps Fellows meaningful hands-on training experience.
The current participants in the Fellows program are 62% BIPOC individuals and 53% identify as women. The Fellows began their year of service in September 2020 and will attend a remote SolarCorps retreat this quarter, focusing on developing job readiness, interview, and resume preparation skills.
“The pandemic posed a unique challenge for GRID, and our hands-on training programs. We had to quickly readjust our safety standards and training practices,” says Courtney Williams, National SolarCorps Program Director, “Fortunately, our current SolarCorps cohort has been able to still gain valuable experience thanks to the continued support of our partners.”
Bank of America has supported GRID’s general operations since 2010 and provided funding for GRID’s SolarCorps Program since 2017. SolarCorps also receives funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service.
GRID Alternatives is a national leader in making clean, affordable solar power and solar jobs accessible to economic and environmental justice communities. Using a unique, people-first model, GRID develops and implements solar projects that serve qualifying households and affordable housing providers, while providing hands-on job training and connections to clean mobility and battery storage incentive programs. GRID has installed solar for more than 17,000 families to-date and helped households and housing providers save $442 million in lifetime electricity costs, while training over 32,000 people. GRID Alternatives has eight regional offices and affiliates serving California, Colorado, the mid-Atlantic region, and Tribal communities nationwide, and serves communities in Nicaragua, Nepal and Mexico. For more information, visit gridalternatives.org.
Kirsten Rumsey, GRID Alternatives