O’Halleran, A Warrior for Job Creation, Seeks Solar Energy Training for Veterans

March 19, 2020 by Dan McCue
O’Halleran, A Warrior for Job Creation, Seeks Solar Energy Training for Veterans
U.S. Rep. Tom O'Halleran speaking with attendees at the 2018 Arizona Manufacturing Summit hosted by the Arizona Manufacturing Council and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry at the Renaissance Downtown Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

WASHINGTON – Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Ariz., is no stranger to fighting to create jobs and a stronger economy for all Americans. His latest effort in this area is co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation to foster workforce training for transitioning military personnel in the growing field of solar energy.

Introduced last week, H.R. 6176, directs the departments of Energy and Defense to select military bases to offer workforce training in the solar energy field based on the number of eligible service members at the base and the viability of the local solar market.

As outlined in the bill, the training is open to active duty military personnel who will be released or discharged within six months, and will provide hands-on instruction and assistance with resume and interview preparation.

In addition, the program will include a certification exam, such as the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), to earn an entry-level credential for solar professionals.


The bill further states that there will be no out-of-pocket cost for service members participating in the program.

“Setting our veterans up for success after they leave active duty service is a top priority of mine,” O’Halleran said. “This bipartisan bill establishes a program that makes service members competitive candidates for solar-related jobs, a growing industry looking to employ highly-skilled professionals.”

He went on to say the legislation is a “commonsense effort” to create jobs in places like his home state of Arizona, home to a booming solar industry and over 500,000 veterans.

“I am proud to introduce this legislation to create good-paying jobs for those that have served selflessly on our behalf,” he said.

Joining O’Halleran as the initial co-sponsors of the bill are Reps. Susie Lee, D-Nev., Michael Waltz, R-Fla., and Denver Riggleman, R-Va.

This is far from the first time O’Halleran has introduced legislation intended to place his constituents on a path toward success and stable careers.

“When it comes to our state’s growing economy, creating good-quality jobs that support a family is a key priority of mine,” the congressman has said.


For example, the Sedona Democrat was an early and vocal supporter of the new United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement, also known as the USMCA, which he said helped preserve more than $20 billion in trade and 228,000 jobs in the state.

O’Halleran called the pact, which was signed into law in January, “an example of legislating done right — thoughtful negotiations, consideration of input from stakeholders and experts, and bipartisan, bicameral support.”

“According to a recent study by the University of Arizona, our state is attracting new residents at one of the highest rates in the entire country,” he wrote in a recent op-ed. “Arizona’s economy is not only growing at a pace that exceeds that of our thriving national economy, but is also diversifying away from one main sector—construction and real estate—to include other industries like education, transportation, and manufacturing.

“The USMCA will ensure that new jobs in these industries are preserved and that new economic sectors can continue to expand and spur the creation of more employment for Arizona families,” he wrote.

O’Halleran is particularly busy promoting job creation in the rural and Native American communities in his state.

“Rural communities make up the very fabric of America; their success is our nation’s success,” he said soon after being named chair of the House Blue Dog Coalition’s Special Task Force on Rural America.

“We must do more to bring good-paying jobs to these communities, grow the economy, expand access to quality, affordable health care, and provide better support for our military veterans,” he added, vowing to deliver “bipartisan, commonsense solutions to address the challenges Americans in rural communities are facing.”

One example of O’Halleran’s efforts in this regard is when he proactively introduced legislation last fall to aid the workers and communities who would be harmed by the closure of the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station.

When it closed in November, the facility near Page, Arizona employed 538 and paid about $52 million per year in total wages.


O’Halleran’s bipartisan Promise Act is intended to provide job and skills training for displaced employees. It is currently pending in the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands.

“Whenever we have this many jobs impacted and families impacted, it’s important to try and help out,” O’Halleran said.

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Employment

January 28, 2023
by Dan McCue
The Rise of the Contract Employee Screams Out for a Rethinking of Policy

WASHINGTON — Hard as it may be to believe, a revolution really did take place while we were all inside,... Read More

WASHINGTON — Hard as it may be to believe, a revolution really did take place while we were all inside, hoping the dark, early shadow of COVID-19 would somehow pass us by.  According to Liz Wilke, principle economist with Gusto, a payroll, benefits and HR platform... Read More

January 27, 2023
by Dan McCue
‘Resilient Communities’ Breakfast Jumpstarts Conversation on the Modern Economy

WASHINGTON — Connie E. Evans, president and CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, smiled broadly Thursday as she surveyed... Read More

WASHINGTON — Connie E. Evans, president and CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, smiled broadly Thursday as she surveyed the early morning crowd gathered to hear her and other speakers at Charlie Palmer Steak. “It’s seldom, at least in my experience, that you get a... Read More

Job Cuts in Tech Sector Spread, Microsoft Lays Off 10,000

Microsoft is cutting 10,000 workers, almost 5% of its workforce, joining other tech companies that have scaled back their pandemic-era... Read More

Microsoft is cutting 10,000 workers, almost 5% of its workforce, joining other tech companies that have scaled back their pandemic-era expansions. The company said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that the layoffs were a response to “macroeconomic conditions and changing customer priorities.” The company said it... Read More

US Economy Grew 3.2% in Q3, an Upgrade From Earlier Estimate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shrugging off rampant inflation and rising interest rates, the U.S. economy grew at an unexpectedly strong 3.2%... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shrugging off rampant inflation and rising interest rates, the U.S. economy grew at an unexpectedly strong 3.2% annual pace from July through September, the government reported Thursday in a healthy upgrade from its earlier estimate of third-quarter growth. The rise in gross domestic... Read More

Biden to Visit Arizona Computer Chip Site, Highlight Jobs

President Joe Biden on Tuesday plans to visit the building site for a new computer chip plant in Arizona, using... Read More

President Joe Biden on Tuesday plans to visit the building site for a new computer chip plant in Arizona, using it as a chance to emphasize how his policies are fostering job growth in what could be a challenge to the incoming Republican House majority. Biden... Read More

Starbucks Workers Strike at More Than 100 US Stores

Starbucks workers at more than 100 U.S. stores are on strike Thursday in their largest labor action since a campaign... Read More

Starbucks workers at more than 100 U.S. stores are on strike Thursday in their largest labor action since a campaign to unionize the company’s stores began late last year. The walkouts coincide with Starbucks’ annual Red Cup Day, when the company gives free reusable cups to... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top