First Filipino solar energy firm hiring

by Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Feb 24 2010 11:38 AM | Updated as of Feb 25 2010 04:42 AM

SAN FRANCISCO, California - A new company is looking to green energy as the future of the American economy.
Solar Tech Solutions Group is the first Filipino-owned company in the US to sell and install solar panels.

Owner Thai Poblete partnered with Sunflower, one of the biggest solar panel manufacturers in the world. Poblete says going into the green movement is crucial, especially during the recession.

“This is one of the industries that actually help the infrastructure of the America and open doors on environmental and economical issues in the country,” Poblete said.

The US government launched the Green Jobs Initiative in 2007 and funded up to US$125 million to provide job training programs all over the country.

The green industry provides jobs that protect the environment, such as energy efficient buildings and construction, renewable electric power, energy-efficient vehicles, and biofuels development.

The Obama administration gives billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wind and solar industries to create jobs in the US.

As a result, Poblete has increased the hiring of green job workers, the majority of whom are Filipinos.

“Aside from the fact that it’s environmentally-friendly, it’s been something that I want to do. I want to learn what the industry has to offer,” said Mecona Foston, one of Poblete’s hires.

A solar panel installer can earn about US$15 an hour.

“You can’t be afraid of heights, you can’t be afraid of working on roofs, but aside from that it’s actually quite fun,” said Russell Murphy, Installation Manager for Solar Tech Solutions Group.

The company’s green job workers say it’s fulfilling to be in the solar industry because it helps communities survive the recession. While they know their job entails a big responsibility, they also know they have done the world a whole lot of good. Balitang America