Energy and Mines


Solar Company Wants to Hire Former Coal Miners in Illinois

Solar Company Wants to Hire Former Coal Miners in Illinois
October 24
14:04 2016

Green power equipment provider, Solar Alliance, wants to hire unemployed coal miners from southern Illinois for its 500 KW community solar generation and battery storage project.

The company hopes that the new renewable energy project will lower local electricity costs and help with job opportunities.

“This project will target a community in Illinois impacted by high electricity rates and high unemployment in the coal sector,” said Solar Alliance Chairman and CEO Jason Bak. “This commitment represents an incredible opportunity to help transition underemployed coal workers into the solar industry and develop new skills.”

The unemployment situation in Illinois has been a concern, with around 16% of coal miners getting laid off in the state in 2015 alone.

Solar Alliance will provide training and employment to 41 community members, with a focus on hiring at least 30 underemployed coal industry workers. The company’s CFO Eric Knutzen said there will be three types of jobs available around solar installations — project leadership, construction (assembling solar panels), and maintenance.

You can listen to The 21st Show’s interview with Eric Knutzen below:

The exact location of the project is still being determined, but the construction is set to begin in 2017 and will last around two and a half years.

More on the story here.

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Anna Golubova

Anna Golubova