C+S May 2022 Vol. 8 Issue 5 (web)

nation of on-the-job training, mentorship, and technical instruction. The curriculum is designed to help veterans understand and develop the skills and knowledge essential to be successful on construction projects. Suc - cessful apprentices are eligible to be hired full time and continue to work with McCar- thy on solar projects around the country. “Solar has been providing excellent oppor- tunities for underemployed or unemployed veterans and workers to embark on new re- warding careers,” said Scott Canada, Senior Vice President of McCarthy’s Renewable Energy & Storage group. “Veterans bring incredibly valuable skills that sync well with solar construction, including leading teams, working outdoors, and focus on completing the job. Through our accredited apprentice training program, we’re training them in the trades and providing a path for a long-term career in construction. We had great success with the program in Texas and are implementing it elsewhere around the country. Unfortunately, the new tariff threat is already impacting opportunities for Vet - erans and other Americans who are most in need of employment as the entire industry begins to stall as we await the decision.”

According to SEIA, as of 2020, more than 230,000 Americans work in solar at more than 10,000 companies in every U.S. state. In 2021, the solar industry generated more than $33 billion of private invest - ment in the American economy and by the end of 2021, there were more than 120,000 cumulative U.S. solar installations. According to the natural resources research and consultancy group, Wood Mack- enzie, solar deployment will crater by 16 GWs annually if tariffs are imposed. That’s two-thirds of all the solar energy installed last year. And over the next four years, U.S. carbon emissions will increase by 61 million metric tons. Hopefully the issue will be resolved quickly. If not, the impact of this new tariff will soon extend into the homes of many Americans. It’s already creating clouds of uncertainty in what was otherwise a very sunny future for solar energy in Texas.

across approximately 1,350 acres of land, employing more than 150 workers during peak construction. The 163-megawatt farm is generating 272,000 megawatt hours of solar power annually – or enough energy to power 24,790 U.S. homes in a year, while reducing CO2 emissions by 156,000 metric tons. • Briar Creek: Approximately 50 miles southeast of Dallas in Corsicana, Texas is a 153-megawatt large-scale solar project, which consists of 345,000 solar panels, sitting on 2,000 acres which created 150 jobs for its construction. The solar farm is generating enough clean and economic electricity to power 27,270 homes and a project of this size allows for the offset of 223,440 metric tons of CO2 annually. During the construction process, there are 50 different operations oc - curring at any given time. Projects such as those mentioned above sup - port more than 700 laborers and staff. McCarthy likes to hire locally and retain those who want to pursue a career in construction. To fill the construction workforce shortage gap, McCarthy implemented an accredited apprenticeship program for U.S. military veterans, which launched with solar construction projects in Texas, including 30 vet - eran apprentices on Elm Branch and nearly 40 veteran apprentices on Briar Creek. McCarthy partnered with ACS, a veteran-owned staffing organization to implement its accredited apprenticeship program. The program is free for veterans and each apprentice builds skill through the combi-


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