SOLAR HOLLER UNIONIZES INSTALLATION CREWS ACROSS APPALACHIA
Solar Holler is very proud to announce a new collaboration with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)! As the leading solar design and installation firm in West Virginia, we are excited to be one of the newest members of IBEW Local 317!
Joining this long established electrical workers union aligns with our mission of supporting Appalachian industry and West Virginia’s and Kentucky’s workers. Through the partnership, IBEW will represent crew members and provide their best in-class trainings. Solar Holler, meanwhile will provide family-sustaining 21st Century jobs for IBEW members, including benefits that cover 100% of health care premiums for the whole family, and pension contributions.
As one of the oldest and longest running labor unions, IBEW has a long history of being on the cutting edge of new electric technologies–in fact it has been in existence since the first use of commercial electricity.
Growing Union Representation in Clean Energy and in West Virginia
Unionized workforces are rare in the US clean energy industry, as union representation has declined economy-wide. Union-represented jobs in the total US workforce have declined steadily over the past three decades. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 1983 union jobs accounted for more than 20% of US workers. It is now just over 10% of the total workforce and only 4% of the solar industry is currently unionized.
This new partnership between Solar Holler and IBEW will enhance our ability to make clean energy the most affordable choice for our neighbors across Appalachia. It is also a natural extension of our commitment to spread solar while protecting and honoring the workers who bring the systems to life.
Solar Holler has never shied away from doing what’s rare or unusual–we made history of our own as the first West Virginia solar company to become a benefit corporation, which legally commits us to putting our team members, the planet and communities around Appalachia on an equal footing with profits. That commitment has come through at every step of our journey–from our earliest projects helping faith communities and nonprofits go solar, to paying for college degrees and opportunities for young people from coal communities.
Continuing Solar Holler’s Mission to Rewire Appalachia
“Partnering with the IBEW is a continuation of the mission we’ve been on for the past seven years–to create family-sustaining jobs in a world-changing industry,” said Dan Conant, Solar Holler’s Founder & CEO. “We believe that healthcare is a human right, that the people wearing boots are the ones that bring our systems to life, and that our company has a responsibility to honor and care for those that make the magic happen.”
At Solar Holler, we’re always looking for creative solutions that make solar accessible and affordable for all our neighbors, and we are excited to join with IBEW to further that goal.
There’s never been a more ideal time to see what solar could save you–with federal tax credits stepping down over the next two years, and utility rates steadily rising. Let us know if you’d like us to develop a complimentary solar analysis for your home by filling out the little form on this page.