, Salem, MA


December 1, 2012

Veterans find jobs, and new mission, in clean tech


“I am looking for the same kind of connection to mission and vision that I enjoyed in my 17 years in the Navy. Alternative energy has precisely that kind of higher purpose,” Eyman wrote. “I want to get involved, but could use some advice on how to transition my background to a civilian market which so often doesn’t understand what my years and experiences mean.”

Neese was impressed by Eyman’s resume, passion and drive. In July, Eyman began working for SunPower out of its Austin, Texas, office as a product manager.

Monica Anguiano, 27, joined the Army after graduating from high school and served from 2003 to 2007 in the Signal Corps as a telecommunications operator. She now works at SolarCity, one of the nation’s leading rooftop solar installers, as a residential programs associate, acting as the liaison between customers and utility companies.

“When you get in the military, the first thing they teach you is work smarter, not harder,” said Anguiano, who first saw rooftop solar on a large scale when she was stationed in Germany. “Clean energy is a lot smarter. It’s a no-brainer to me to try to expand solar instead of sticking with coal and oil. When I was driving through Kuwait, I’d see houses with solar panels. Even in a place where there’s a lot of oil, they are choosing solar.”

Anguiano, who regularly visits the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in San Francisco for help with a shoulder injury, has a SolarCity sticker on the bumper of her car and is proud that it’s become a conversation starter. “The last time I went to the VA, I got flagged down by a couple of World War II veterans,” she said. “They were 80-year-olds. They knew all about solar and wanted to talk to me about it.”

Anguiano said her family is excited she’s working in clean energy, and she’s excited, too.

“It was a bumpy road to translate what I learned in the military to a civilian job,” she said. “But my feeling is that if you are going to do something, you might as well do something worthwhile.”

Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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