The Solar Power World editorial team is proud to continue our Top Solar Champions awards program that began in 2021. These four awards, open to all those employed by Top Solar Contractor companies, highlight talent in the industry in different skill areas.
The 2022 Top Solar Changemaker award-winner is Micah Gold-Markel, founder of Solar States, a Philadelphia-based solar installation company.
Making positive changes to the solar industry is in Gold-Markel’s DNA. In 2008, he founded Solar States as a B Corp with the dual purposes of installing solar power and educating the next generation about the technology. After attending a speech by Green for All advocate Van Jones, he took that mission one step further and aspired to bring underserved communities into the green economy.
True to this plan, Gold-Markel led Solar States to partner with the Philadelphia Energy Authority and other organizations to create the “Find Your Power” curriculum, a free 38-class program for anyone interested in becoming a solar installer. Since the launch, Gold-Markel’s team has trained hundreds of high school students and adults on how to install solar. A number of Find Your Power graduates are now employed by Solar States, some holding positions as master electricians or solar designers.
Those working at Solar States have access to healthcare benefits and profit-sharing opportunities. Gold-Markel’s dedication and drive have opened the door to stable solar careers for many people who may not have otherwise had access.