President Obama recently announced plans to bring home all U.S. troops in Iraq by the end of the year, and many can’t help but wonder where and how veterans will find jobs in this rather shaky economy. Nearly 240,000 soldiers have already returned from Iraq and Afghanistan and cannot find work – and they are just a fraction of the 850,000 total jobless veterans who outnumber unemployed civilians. But every cloud has a silver lining – the Huffington Post recently reported that green businesses across the country are stepping up and providing hundreds of jobs and specialized training for those who have served our country.
Green jobs have doubled from 2008 to 2010 and are continuing to multiply. Tipping Point Renewable Energy in Columbus, Ohio launched the Solar by Soldiers program that hires only military veterans for their solar panel installation crews. Numerous companies are even helping vets translate their maintenance and technical training into green labor skills, as many of these jobs require the same coordination soldiers learn in training and experience. Five of the largest green energy providers have joined forces to create the Troops to Energy Jobs program that provides job training and even college credit for military experience. Similarly, the Denver based nonprofit called Veterans Green Jobs has already trained and placed 370 veterans in the last 4 years.
With green companies and organizations, veterans can begin to adjust back to civilian life using their unrivaled skills while contributing to the environment.
lead image via creative commons user dvids
additional images via creative commons user waynenf