Strata Solar targets military veterans in recent hiring spree
For Strata Solar, being located in Fayetteville comes with a number of benefits. But perhaps chief among them is that with Fort Bragg and Pope Army Airfield located in Fayetteville, the company has a large pool of military veterans to hire from.
Chapel Hill-based Strata Solar announced this week that it had hired 188 new employees to work on a new project in Duplin County. Of the new hires, 64 percent had military backgrounds.
The new employees have already begun working on a solar farm near Warsaw. The 87.5 megawatt farm will cover 450 acres and produce enough energy to power roughly 10,050 homes, the company says.
Maria Barker, director of human resources for Strata Solar, says the company places a premium on military veterans because many come in with technical and leadership skills that translate well to the solar industry.
“The military has a number of roles that require technical training on how to take energy facilities on- and offline after a natural disaster. That kind of training is great for us because we’re constantly bringing new solar facilities online,” Barker says.
Barker says that military vets can also have an advantage when working in construction roles for the company. “When we need to get out into a solar field to build or do repair work, we need people who can get in and out quickly and who have experience navigating construction equipment on uneven terrain,” Barker says. “Military leaders know how to do that.”
Strata Solar’s latest hires bring the company’s headcount to about 300, statewide. Barker says the company intends to hire about 200 more employees in the near future. “We’d like to bring people on as soon as possible, so they can be trained and ready to go by the fourth quarter,” she says.
In December, Strata Solar announced it would be building three new solar farms in Bladen, Duplin and Wilson counties. Those projects received capital from Washington, D.C.-based Sol Systems, National Cooperative Bank and Strata Solar.
The partnership completed a $100-million investment for three Strata Solar solar farms in August, in Laurinburg, Clarkton and Spring Hope, totaling 20 megawatts.
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