New partnership aims to link veterans with job opportunities at solar construction sites and other solar-related jobs in Florida, as well as cutting-edge training at Indian River State College

Florida Power & Light (FPL), Veterans Florida and numerous advocacy organizations and businesses have announced a new partnership designed to link US military veterans with careers in solar energy development in Florida.

Florida is home to 20 military installations and more than 1.5 million veterans, and FPL is touting growing opportunities in solar energy in Florida – including the construction of new FPL solar sites expected to employ more than 1,500 people in 2017.

"We're thrilled to team up with FPL to help connect veterans with potential jobs in solar energy," said Jim Bagby, chairman of the board of directors of Veterans Florida, a non-profit corporation created by the state to help veterans transition to civilian life in Florida. "Construction of a universal solar power plant can be a great opportunity for veterans looking to transition into civilian life. By gaining on-the-job experience and taking advantage of additional training that's not being offered elsewhere, veterans in Florida can get a leg up on their future."

Interested veterans can visit www.VeteransFlorida.org/solar for information about solar job openings, job fairs and training opportunities as they become available.

FPL recently announced plans to build nearly 2,100 megawatts of new solar in Florida. Based on the technology currently being installed, this amount of new solar would translate into the installation of nearly 9 million solar panels.

Over the course of the next year, construction at new FPL solar facilities is expected to employ more than 1,500 people. Blattner Energy and OCI will build the new projects. Construction is expected to begin this month, and hiring will ramp up through the spring.

In addition, as part of the partnership, FPL is working with Indian River State College (IRSC) to create cutting-edge training and coursework in solar energy. While the courses will be open to public enrollment, interested veterans can visit www.VeteransFlorida.org to find out about federal educational assistance programs that may help them cover the cost of course fees.

image: wikimedia