Solar Jobs to Continue Growing in Inland Empire Despite National Slowdown
New report shows region’s solar companies expect to continue adding jobs in coming years
Riverside, CA – A new report released by GRID Alternatives Inland Empire, the Inland Empire/Desert Center of Excellence, and the Deputy Sector Navigator for Advanced Transportation and Renewable Energy shows that employers in the region expect to add 675 solar jobs over the next two years. The study comes on the heels of a report from The Solar Foundation, released in February, showing a 14 percent drop in solar jobs in California in 2017, and 3.8 percent nationally.
The purpose of the study, a regional solar employer survey taken during the fourth quarter of 2017, was to obtain statistics, gather solar industry employment data and assess workforce needs. Thirty-six residential and commercial solar employers conducting business in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties participated. Although concerns remain about the impact of solar tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration in January, 64 percent of employers anticipated making new hires.
According to survey findings, the most common jobs reported in the region include photovoltaic solar installers, electricians, project managers, and in-person sales. Many of these are accessible to people with a high school education, with only 13 percent of employers seeking candidates with a certificate/postsecondary non-degree award closely followed by some college, no degree. The average reported starting earnings for construction/operation positions was $21.58 per hour.
The survey also found a strong need for job training, with 60 percent of employers citing difficulty finding candidates with sufficient training or work experience in solar. The survey findings will be used by GRID Alternatives Inland Empire and the Inland Empire/Desert Center of Excellence to better align their training offerings with the needs of industry employers and make connections with job-ready candidates of diverse backgrounds.
Download the full Residential and Commercial Solar Employer Survey. For more information about the study, contact Cynthia Corrales at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About GRID Alternatives
GRID Alternatives Inland Empire (GRID IE) is an office of GRID Alternatives, a national leader in making clean, affordable solar power and solar jobs accessible to low-income communities and communities of color. GRID IE has installed solar for more than 1,400 families to-date and helped households and housing providers save $51 million in lifetime electricity costs, while training over 2,600 people. For more information, visit gridalternatives.org/ie or call 951.272.4743.