We may be entering the cooler months but the solar power industry is hot. The U.S. Bureau of Labor reports employment for solar photovoltaic (PV) installers who assemble, install, and maintain PV systems will grow by 51 percent through 2029. And it’s already evident in the Sunshine State.
Christopher Henry left being an exercise equipment repairman seven years ago for a career in renewable energy and solar power.
”I’m always learning something new. And it’s not a boring job,” said Henry. “It’s not repetitive, there’s always something different and I’ve been able to.
As a service supervisor for Advanced Green Technologies he tests and maintains solar panels for a growing customer base. And his employer is looking for dozens of motivated people like him to join one of the largest roofing and solar contractors in the state with offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale (corporate office), Jupiter, Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville.
”You’ve got to be able to adapt and adapt quickly to customers,” said Rob Kornahrens, Advanced Roofing, and Advanced Green Technologies CEO. ”In 1983, I borrowed $15,000 from my dad. I bought a pick-up truck and I just grew it from doing what we say we’re going to do — quality work.”
Kornahrens calls the solar market red hot and he’s adapted and diversified his portfolio over 37-years in business.
“The three major fields [we service] are condominiums, hospitals, and the industrial sector. But there’s also schools. We have a term contract with Palm Beach County Schools as well as Martin County Schools,” Kornahrens said. ”The younger generation wants to know what are you doing to reduce your corporate footprint on the environment, so it’s really exciting. I do a lot with mentoring kids and I also do a lot with the Climate Change Task for of Broward County.”
So much so, both of his companies which operate under one umbrella need 80 new roofing laborers, project and construction managers for roofing and solar power, and people in accounting. It’s an industry that prides itself on working smart, safely, and training. Laborers with no experience will enter into a three-year apprenticeship program and earn 20 credits that can be applied to an associate’s degree.
”There’s no fuel surcharge on solar — because the sun is free and it’s growing,” Kornahrens said.