Jeff Lamica, Junior PV Installer, SolarCity
When Jeff Lamica left the military, he wasn’t sure how he was going to get a job or what he was going to do for work. At first he considered going to college – but discovered another avenue when he met SolarCity through Veterans Green Jobs.
“The prospect of getting a job was kind of a new one for me. It had been a while. But when I met the people and saw the environment at SolarCity, I started cementing my ideas for what I was going to do for work,” he says.
As a U.S. Army infantryman, Jeff had deployed twice to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. He was accustomed to the military’s structured and rigid environment, and knew he’d have to adjust to the civilian world – one that would require him to take more initiative and adapt to a different kind of schedule.
Jeff started his transition by contacting Veterans Green Jobs’ employment program, which he had heard about from the Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP). Not long after he was in the Veterans Green Jobs database, he received an email indicating that SolarCity in Parker, Colorado was offering a photovoltaic (PV) installer training program.
“I met with a Veterans Green Jobs recruiter, who helped me translate my resume into civilian terms and make me more marketable. She counseled me on the interview process and prepared me for the interview,” Jeff says. Today, Jeff has a job as a junior PV installer for SolarCity.
Jeff says the job is a great fit for him. He was interested in doing work that was hands-on and physical. And the renewable energy industry was a big draw.
“I believe that renewable energy, and my participation in it, helps my country and my community. It makes us less reliant on fossil fuels and foreign imports and makes us less susceptible to an energy crisis. The ability to supply our own energy makes us more self sufficient and self sustaining.”
Jeff believes that he – and veterans in general – is a good match for the renewable energy field because of the essential skills and experience he gained in the military. “I can work effectively in a team, with many different types of personalities in many different jobs. And I’ve gotten used to working in hard conditions, for long days, in the heat and the cold.”
In addition, Jeff says, the military culture made him more reliable as a person, a trait that translates very well into the civilian workforce. “You have to be in the right place at the right time with the right equipment. And you have to work hard. You’re accountable for the results of your day.”