LOS ANGELES – September 18, 2017
By Sam Jefferies
The positive economic effects of the solar power industry driving a surge of new jobs and energizing the U.S. economy. According to Los Angeles-based Green Solar Technologies (GST), a national solar installation company, small towns, and rural communities are reaping the benefits from the surge in solar business. According to energy.gov, as of 2016, the solar workforce grew at a rate 12 times faster than the overall economy, and since 2010, this workforce has increased by 123 percent. Based on recent numbers from The Solar Foundation’s Solar Job Census, more than 260,000 Americans are working in the field, giving a boost to the U.S. economy across the board.
At Green Solar Technologies, Business Development Manager Steve Bagish stated: “We discovered that smaller, underserved markets are hungry for solar because of rising energy prices and that there were few companies to serve this demand so we began to focus on small-town America.”
According to Bagish, “We sell, finance and project-manage hundreds of solar installations in small towns across America, which gives us a unique advantage over other national companies that only serve large metropolitan areas. Those companies don’t currently have the operational infrastructure to be able to sell and install in these areas and have been missing out.” This strategy - to go where others are not - helped to turn Green Solar into a renewable energy giant with operations in 19 states. Green Solar Technologies installs thousands of solar projects per year with approximately 50% outside of major metropolitan areas. Each solar project requires on average five skilled workers.
“From ‘mom and pop’ electrical companies to contractors and roofers, small businesses in these rural areas are now hiring more, working more and enjoying profitable business,” said Bagish. “More jobs, more opportunities, and more dollars are flowing into these communities,” he said. So homeowners buying a residential solar power system not only save money on electricity, but they help local businesses, too. Structural engineers, designers, installers and project managers are required and those jobs help local economies by infusing cash back into Main Street businesses such as drug stores, hardware stores, food markets and clothing stores. As solar power becomes a more mature industry and is adopted by more consumers, this trickle-down job-creation effect is helping expand opportunities for growth in small town economies across the country.