Meet Ross and Kenneth, Teamster Apprentices at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS)
The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) project is creating much-needed construction and manufacturing jobs in the High Desert region. In this “Ivanpah Portrait,” we’d like to introduce you to Ross Bowlin and Kenneth Platten, two Armed Forces veterans that found work on the ISEGS project through the Helmets to Hardhats program, a non-profit organization which creates opportunities for men and women from the Armed Forces to learn about promising building and construction careers and transition from active duty into a career in the construction industry.
Bechtel, the project contractor, is actively partnering with Helmets to Hardhats to provide opportunities for veterans, a segment of the population that’s been among the hardest hit during the recession. According to recent data from California’s Employment Development Department, veterans ages 25-34—the age group most likely to be transitioning back to civilian life—face unemployment rates as high as 18.4 percent, compared with 11.4 percent for the general population in California.
We spoke with Ross and Kenneth about what’s it like to come back from service in the Armed Forces to such a difficult employment situation in the United States – and how it feels not only to be back in the workforce, but working on a historic solar project.