A and R Solar, in Seattle's Mount Baker neighborhood, provided the backdrop, literally, for Jay Inslee's announcement that he's seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
The solar panels which were set up behind the governor will soon start soaking up the sun on the roof of someone's home.
CEO Reeves Clippard started A and R with co-founder Andy Yatteau 12 years ago. They've since grown to a team of 70.
“Solar jobs are one of the fastest-growing jobs in America. We now employ more people than the coal industry, and these are jobs you can't export, we are boots on the roof, boots on the ground,” Clippard said.
You can see why Inslee wanted to kick things off here, but the outlook in the solar industry isn't always so sunny.
Lara Worcester can tell you all about that. She just started at A and R as a solar education associate.
“I myself have been laid off, just earlier this year, at a solar company in Oregon, because of the expiry of the state tax incentives, so I got to feel the real effects of what we call the solar roller coaster,” she said. “(Industry) success is very much based around policy.”
Another challenge -- the Trump Administration has thrown some shade on the solar business, and Clippard says it can be difficult to tell what that will mean for jobs in the coming years.
“The biggest impact under the Trump administration has been increased uncertainty for our industry between tariffs, changing regulations, not knowing if it's safe for us to invest, and growing our employees growing our company,” Clippard said.
“We're at a time now where it needs to become more mainstream, so to have this kind of publicity is awesome,” Worcester said, before watching Inslee take the stage.
U.S. solar jobs have actually dropped in recent years. That's according to The Solar Foundation, a non-profit that tries to advance solar technology.
There were 260,000 jobs in 2016 and 242,000 last year.
The foundation said uncertainty over the impact of tariffs and state policies was to blame.