Empower America Partners with SolarWorld to Foster U.S. Jobs in Renewable Energy

  Empower America Partners with SolarWorld to Foster U.S. Jobs in Renewable

Partnership aims to employ U.S. veterans in building American-made solar

Business Wire

TEMECULA, Calif. -- March 7, 2013

Empower America, a nonprofit coalition that hires U.S. service veterans to
construct solar-energy projects featuring American-made solar products, today
announced a partnership with SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer
for more than 35 years. Under the partnership, the solar manufacturer will
serve as the primary solar-panel and racking supplier for
Empower-America-developed solar projects.

Focused in Southern California, the partnership follows a wave of legislation
in cities and counties throughout the region that strengthens these
governments’ commitments to solar-energy development and job creation for
military veterans. The Los Angeles City Council, for example, last week
created a new citywide position: veteran affairs coordinator, whose
responsibilities will include fostering job opportunities for veterans in
renewable energy. In 2012, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors
unanimously passed the Valor Act, a resolution directing county staff to
identify programs and policies to prepare veterans of the armed forces for
careers in clean energy. A similar resolution is proposed in San Bernardino

“The point of creating a veteran affairs coordinator is to help L.A. veterans
get the help they need and the benefits they’ve earned,” said Los Angeles City
Council Member Eric Garcetti, who sponsored creation of the position. “The
help they need includes creating job opportunities in growing employment
fields. I envision the coordinator working with employers, such as Empower
America, to create job opportunities in renewable energy to help veterans and
our economy in tandem.”

With a mission of creating workforce and economic development opportunities in
Southern California, Empower America develops renewable-energy projects for
governments and businesses and then recruits, trains and employs local service
veterans to build those projects. Under the Empower America partnership with
SolarWorld, the solar manufacturer will provide the nonprofit with technical
and engineering assistance as well as supply solar panel and racking.

“Empower America’s approach goes beyond local work-force recruiting and
training to include developing renewable energy projects that will employ
service-veteran trainees,” said Mario Pabon, president and CEO of Empower
America. “As with every municipal energy-independence program, the need for
project originators, in addition to work-force development, is paramount.”

“With its focus on promoting American jobs, American veterans and American
energy independence, Empower America’s mission resonates with SolarWorld, a
company that has been manufacturing solar panels in the U.S. since 1975,” said
Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas and a U.S. Army veteran.
“Support of military veterans is a priority for us because we envision solar
as a way to ease global tensions over scarce resources and thereby avert
military conflict. In addition, the U.S. military was an early adopter of
solar, and our work force features a strong cohort of veterans.”

About Empower America

Empower America Coalition is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to local
economic and workforce development within the renewable energy industry.
Through our public and private partners, we originate and develop renewable
energy projects for local government and businesses. As a complete solution to
the industry we recruit, train and employ local service veterans into the
projects we develop.

About SolarWorld

SolarWorld manufactures solar power systems and in doing so contributes to a
cleaner energy supply worldwide. The company, located in Bonn, employs about
2,600 people and carries out production in Freiberg, Germany, and Hillsboro,
Oregon, USA. From raw material silicon to the solar module, SolarWorld manages
all stages of production ‒ including its own research and development. Through
an international distribution network, SolarWorld supplies customers all over
the world with solar modules and complete systems. The company maintains high
social standards at all locations across the globe and has committed itself to
resource- and energy-efficient production. SolarWorld has been publicly traded
on the stock market since 1999 and is quoted in the technology index TecDax.
SolarWorld achieved sales of about 1 billion Euros for the fiscal year 2011.


Empower America
Mario Pabon
SolarWorld Industries America
Devon Cichoski
Media Relations Manager
Office: 805-388-6388
Mobile: 805-377-2905
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