In late May 2023, Solar Washington talked to Jay Larson, a long time member based in Spokane who currently serves on the Board of Solar Washington. Jay talks about how his interest in solar developed at a very young age and led to a career in solar.
Solar Washington: Jay, when and why did you become interested in solar?
Jay Larson: I think my earliest memories of anything solar were stories of the thermal panels President Carter had installed on the White House. Having always been intrigued by technology as a boy, from powering a simple watch to the Hubble telescope, I found solar particularly interesting. With all the possibilities imaginable, my interest eventually led me to start a career in the solar industry.
SW: Why did you join Solar Washington?
JL: In a long effort to find employment in the renewable energy industry, I came across Solar Washington and thought that it would be a good place to learn more about what is happening in Washington regarding solar. As I learned more about how the organization provides valuable information about solar and facilitates so many different types of organizations and individuals to gather in discussion of the use of solar in Washington I decided to join.
SW: What do you expect from Solar Washington?
JL: I see Solar Washington continuing to grow as a resource for those in this industry as well as for those just looking to learn more or discovering solar for the first time. It would be a big achievement that the organization may be commonly known throughout Washington due to its presence at local events, the events it hosts and through the outreach and activities of its members.
SW: Any advice for anyone looking to solar as a career?
JL: For anyone looking for employment in the solar industry, whether on the roof, in a lab or at a desk, a wide variety of opportunities exist. As with any career, there are a mix of skills that complement any focus, writing, teaching, administration, electrician, maintenance, and people skills all have a path towards a solar career and add value to any resume. Check out Solar WA and see the different types of groups and individuals involved, maybe it will be the first step towards such a goal. Life is long enough for more than one career, so take what you know and go for it.