Solar partners embrace Military City culture, hire veterans

Career opportunities for veterans have increased in Military City, USA since the OCI Solar Power consortium has relocated and expanded here, and those opportunities continue to increase.

The consortium of companies that have moved here to fulfill the 400 MW solar deal with CPS Energy, which includes building a solar component manufacturing plant at Brooks City Base, is seeking to fill a range of positions from manufacturing to corporate and looking for local veterans who can apply their leadership to the teams.

Architect's rendering of Nexolon America's solar module manufacturing plant, being built at Brooks City Base.
Architect’s rendering of Nexolon America’s solar module manufacturing plant, being built at Brooks City Base.

The agreement is part of CPS Energy’s New Energy Economy initiative, which seeks out partnerships with clean energy companies to bring economic development and educational investments to the San Antonio region.

Just among the consortium partners alone, the award-winning initiative has filled 167 permanent positions with an avg salary of $70,519. More than 600 temporary construction positions have been filled as well.

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Veterans fill several of those key roles in the San Antonio offices of OCI Solar Power and its partners ERCAM Trackers, Nexolon America and KACO new energy.

Human resources, operations, project management and IT are already benefiting from veterans’ leadership and skills. Veteran Edward Holder, Network Engineer at OCI Solar Power’s downtown office, found his military background helped him smoothly transition into the private sector.

“There’s always some fear going into the civilian work force, especially the private sector because you have to apply your skills in a different way than you have in the past,” said Holder.

“What I am doing in the private sector is similar but unique to what I was doing on the U.S.S. Reagan. Fortunately, the skills you learn in the military equip you to be a team player and leader no matter where life takes you next.”

OCI Solar Power and its manufacturing consortium are putting down permanent roots in San Antonio as a result of the deal with CPS Energy to supply 400 MW of power to the utility for 25 years.

Upon completion in 2016, the project will have brought more than 800 permanent jobs to the San Antonio area, with an estimated annual economic impact of $700 million.

Current openings can be found posted on the companies’ websites, or LinkedIn, including this recent posting for a civil engineer with OCI Solar Power.

“I can’t think of a better way a new business could honor San Antonio’s military culture than opening its doors to veterans,” said Holder. “My position in the military brought me to San Antonio, and opportunities like this make it possible to stay here.”

Tracy Idell Hamilton

Tracy Idell Hamilton was part of the Corporate Communications team at CPS Energy.

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