News: Volunteers

On a cool Saturday morning in the Ocean View neighborhood, Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco held an emotional celebration dedicating 28 new affordable homes for low-income families, with a solar system - installed by GRID Alternatives - on every roof. The development, called Habitat Terrace, arose from what was once a vacant lot to become beautiful three story homes for families in need.
Welcome to our new Staff Spotlight feature, where we share a brief interview to introduce you to some of our amazing staff members here at GRID Bay Area! This month we’d like to introduce you to our newest Solar Installation Supervisor Andrew Hayes. He’s the type of guy who fixes up old VWs and rides a purple BMW motorcycle named Barney. Quick to smile and patient while teaching, he’s a great person to meet and learn from when you’re out in the field. Keep checking back to meet more fabulous GRID Bay Area staffers!
Champagne, gifts, flowers, and party favors - that’s how most people picture a bridal shower. Instead, Leslie imagined hardhats, harnesses, ladders, and power tools. Leslie and her bridesmaids participated in GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic’s new Solar Champions program, raising money for GRID to install a solar system that will save a DC homeowner approximately $700 a year, and prevent about 100 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere.
On Saturday, WGL volunteers joined GRID Alternatives in Southeast DC to install solar for our first multifamily project in the Mid-Atlantic. The WGL volunteers were participating as part of the annual “WGL Day of Weatherization,” which involved 215 WGL employees weatherizing 105 homes in West Virginia, Maryland, DC, and Virginia.
“I know that one day, people will tell your story and say that you have changed the world” – Beatrice Sonfack at TechWomen The first day I ever spent on the roof with GRID Alternatives, I happened to look across the freeway and see a few tall houses with all black solar arrays in a row. I realized the GRID customer community - low-income families with access to solar - is small compared to the relatively more privileged community with easy access. GRID’s mission started to resonate, make solar practical and accessible to the people who could truly use it. It’s the reason I became a GRID Team Leader, finishing 14 installs in the last 12 months.
Two weeks ago, GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic welcomed four new GRID employees to the team! The new hires are part of GRID’s SolarCorps program, the result of GRID’s partnership with AmeriCorps. Three new SolarCorps Construction Fellows and one new SolarCorps Volunteer Fellow are now part of our Mid-Atlantic family!
While installation tends to be the most visible type of solar job, the industry has opportunities in a multitude of sectors suited for individuals with varying backgrounds - even those who don't want to get on the roof! Solar jobs can be in sales, project management, financing, and many other departments.
I would like to say thank you to the strong group of volunteers and job trainees that I have met this past year as the Workforce and Volunteer Fellow at GRID Alternatives Bay Area. I am continuously humbled by your heart and passion for the communities we serve and the hope of a cleaner environment. Since I was hired a year ago, together in the Bay Area you have volunteered 3,123 hours, helping us install 134 systems that will save over $3.6 million for the families while preventing nearly 7,519 tons of carbon emissions. This is the carbon offset is the equivalent of planting over 174,906 trees.
“One thing I’ve really noticed about people working in wind or solar is that they’re passionate, they’re really into what they do,” says Mr. Pearson.
Passionate about cycling, raising awareness about climate change, and supporting GRID? Participate in one of this year's Climate Ride events!