Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Calling all Electricians


Sometimes I get to thinking about things; life on other planets; why all the foods that taste great are bad for you, and vice versa; when will American Idol go off the air?
But today I’m thinking about you electricians out there. Times are tough. Construction projects are down, and on top off all that it’s raining today. I heard once that electricity and water don’t mix well.
Be that as it may, here’s a ray of sunshine to pierce your storm cloud. Did you know that renewable energyoffers a wealth of opportunity for electricians? In fact, for many electricians, whether they realize it or not, renewable energy is just a natural career progression.
Take Howard Croft of Flint, Michigan. Howard was a 15-year veteran electrician with General Motors. When Howard’s plant went under he needed to figure out his next move. That move sent him to Florida where he earned his North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification, and joined the burgeoning industry of solar installation.
So what happens next? Wind of Howard’s new career blows back to Flint, and suddenly the Michigan Department of Labor is on the horn asking him to come back and help them develop Michigan’s solar industry. So back he goes to the Wolverine State where he founds Mid-Michigan Solar, Michigan’s only NABCEP as well as the only solar installer within 45 miles of Flint.
“Flint has always been about General Motors, and now we don’t have that,” said Croft. “It’s time we look at solar and the renewable portfolio standards and realize how many jobs we can create and the domino effect solar job creation could have on the economy. We’re fortunate to be in a position to help Flint rebound, and I’m proud to be a part of that. It feels great to know I can make a difference here at home.”
In addition to steady work, Howard is now part of a newly formed Flint energy council. Howard insists that it’s important to expose and educate kids about the solar future.
 “Kids used to have GM to aspire to and the auto trade to learn,” he said. “It’s crucial there’s something to replace that. There’s still a learning curve to deal with here in Michigan, but I don’t define success in terms of total kilowatts, but in terms of how many people in Michigan are behind us, the community involvement, and the fact that I went from opening a business last year to having 9-10 people on staff and several contractor and builder partners.”
So electricians out there – think solar. Your career will thank you.
Now if only someone could only develop a combination diet and exercise program involving fried chicken and television.

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