Today’s employer advice is from Michelle Knox, Founder of WindSolarUSA.
Q: Tell us about your organization.
WindSolarUSA, Inc. is a full-service renewable energy and energy efficiency company offering solar photovoltaics, solar pool heating, wind and LED lighting technologies.
Our services include customer and public education, site assessment, consulting services, research/communication of funding opportunities, system sizing and design, cost modeling, product procurement and project management. We can even recommend local financing opportunities for those that need it!
Founded in 2008 for the purpose of being able to assist individuals, businesses, municipalities and rural agricultural producers to secure clean energy at a fixed price for partial or total energy self-sufficiency, the company offers site assessments and technical sales advisors to professionally evaluate your renewable resource(s)/LED lighting opportunities and develop your project. We are proud to offer American-made products professionally installed by skilled labor.
Q: What advice would you give to people in midlife who want to transition to a green job?
It is never too late to consider a career change that feeds your soul. Working in the green industry is a fulfilling endeavor that not only can provide income, but also helps one to feel good about doing the right thing for the planet for future generations. Money is not always the only determining factor when choosing a career path. Remember to value the work you do in terms of societal contribution.
Q: What are the skills that you believe will be required most in the short-medium term in your industry?
- Good written and verbal communication skills
- The ability to multi-task/handle situations that arise from unforeseen circumstances
- Microsoft Suite of products mastery (or similar provider)
- The ability to learn new design software and cost modeling programs for proposal preparation
- Sales/presentation ability
- Basic construction skills in terms of installing solar
- Electrical knowledge (IBEW apprenticeship and experience or NABCEP Installer Certification)
- Renewable Energy Training for sales/office staff (I recommend the MREA for the Midwest)
- Project Procurement
- Project Management
- Utility/Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) experience in terms of application completion and submittal
- Knowledge of solar monitoring systems