​​Vermont among leader in solar jobs for third year

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​​Vermont among leader in solar jobs for third year

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 9:33am -- katie

Vermont Business Magazinenew report released by the national non-profit The Solar Foundation, found Vermont to be #3 in solar jobs per capita in the country.

This marks the third year in a row Vermont is in the top-3 for local solar jobs. 

According to the jobs census, the top jobs sectors in Vermont are installation jobs, manufacturing, followed by sales/distribution and project development jobs.  Median wages for solar installation jobs are higher paying jobs than the national average, at $23.00/hour.

Nationally, the solar industry continues to set record job and installation growth, creating jobs at a rate 12  times faster than the economy.

"The job-creating strength of our industry is testament to Vermont's innovative and entrepreneurial energy business environment as well as stable state policies," said Jeff Forward, Renewable Energy Vermont chair.  "This report confirms what we all know: solar jobs will continue to fuel our state's economy and power our future growth.​  ​

This national report also confirms that Vermont can either incubate its share of new solar jobs or they will go elsewhere around the country," added Forward.​

Vermont specific jobs census within the report, finds that:

  • ​Employers expect to add approximately 178 new solar workers to payrolls over the next 12 months – a growth rate of 13% – far above the projected growth rate of the state’s workforce as a whole
  • Installation firms employ the largest portion – at 58.8% – of the Vermont solar workforce, followed by manufacturing firms at 18.4%
  • Vermont for the first time topped 20,000 homes powered by solar and ranks 21st in cumulative solar capacity installed nationally​

Other recent Vermont jobs reports have found more than 16,000 jobs in Vermont's energy sector. For the Solar Foundation's census, employment numbers for solar are only counted for workers that spend at least 50 percent of their time in solar, undercounting employment figures for workers who spend only part of their time on solar, common in the emerging Vermont industry.

Addressing workforce training needs, the census found that "in order to sustain this future growth, it is essential that Vermont employers have ready access to quality talent and skilled labor or enhance their on-the-job training offerings. To achieve this, more focused and comprehensive solar training efforts – in-house, in-state, and across the country – must be sufficiently emphasized."

Vermont Technical College President Dan Smith said, “Vermont Tech​ is committed to the idea that we can serve Vermonters and the Vermont solar industry in a way that ensures access to workforce and opportunity are no longer obstacles to the state’s economic expansion.”

Though Vermont no longer offers any state rebates and only recently adopted a Renewable Energy Standard beginning in 2017, the report cited "stable state policies" as helping fuel the jobs growth.

GMP Statement on Solar Foundation Jobs Report

Green Mountain Power issued the following statement from President and CEO Mary Powell about the Solar Foundation Jobs Report.  The report released by the national non-profit found Vermont to be #3 in solar jobs per capita in the country. Mary Powell serves on the national Solar Foundation Board of Directors. 

“The Solar Foundation Jobs Report is great news for Vermont and demonstrates the positive economic impact the solar energy industry is having on our state.  

“It is so heartening to see new companies grow and thrive here because of this industry. From contractors and energy auditors to solar installers, we are leading the nation in transforming how energy is generated and used.

“This report marks the third year in a row Vermont has ranked in the top three for local solar jobs. As Vermont’s Energy Company of the Future, Green Mountain Power is committed to continuing the important work we are doing to empower customers to save money, use less energy and reduce our impact on the planet. Working together we can achieve a bright energy future.”

The full Solar Foundation Jobs Report can found here: http://www.thesolarfoundation.org/fact-sheet-state-solar-jobs-census-2015/

Renewable Energy Vermont

REV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan trade association representing nearly 300 businesses, individuals, colleges and others committed to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and expanding the availability of renewable sources of power in Vermont. 

About Green Mountain Power

Green Mountain Power (GMP) serves approximately 265,000 residential and business customers in Vermont and has a vision to be the best small company in America by partnering with Vermonters to improve lives and transform communities. GMP is focused on a new way of doing business to meet the needs of customers with integrated energy services that help people use less energy and save money, while continuing to generate clean, cost-effective and reliable power in Vermont. GMP is the first utility in the world to get a B Corp certification, meeting rigorous social, environmental, accountability and transparency standards and committing to use business as a force for good. In 2014, Vote Solar named GMP a Solar Champion. More information at: www.greenmountainpower.com. Connect with GMP on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GreenMtnPower.