Workforce trainee Jose, a returning citizen, is profiled in Next City urban policy journal

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April 04, 2017

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Jose Ramos poses in a photo with some of the GRID community members; Jose attributes his employment success in solar to GRID
Jose Ramos (far left), who found work in solar, celebrates with (from left) David Andrade and Emerson Rivera on the GRID staff and Levi Ortega.

Jose Ramos, GRID Greater Los Angeles (GLA)'s 2016 Volunteer of the Year, was recently highlighted by NextCity.org in an article about GRID Alternatives' commitment to Realizing an Inclusive Solar Economy (RISE). Since his 2016 release from prison after spending 15 years behind bars, Jose's completed an accelerated photovoltaic program through East Los Angeles Skills Center with sponsorship from Homeboy Industries. He graduated with straight "A" grades, put in hundreds of volunteer hours, and recently passed the NABCEP Associate's exam. With his demonstrable commitment to solar, Jose has been an asset to us here at GRIDLA.

An excerpt from the article:

Ramos says because of an emphasis on bringing a more diverse roster into renewables, GRID Alternatives' programs changed his life. He was trained at the East Los Angeles Skills Center. "That little school right there," he says, "is a jewel."

By going through the training process he was even able to get his parents, who he describes as retired but living in poverty, their own solar setup.

"It's cutting edge, and it's about giving our next generation a hopefully cleaner environment, to become less dependent on the dirty fuels like coal and nuclear and all that," he says.

It's also given him immense confidence by letting him work alongside the types of professionals he never had in his life while growing up.

"Under different circumstances I would have never met or been in the same room as a UCLA student or engineer or someone who works for Tesla," he says, describing some of his past work meetings with GRID Alternatives. There's a lot of hip people in the solar industry — people that are more open to people like myself."

To read more about Jose's story and GRID's diversity initiatives, check out the article at https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/recent-solar-jobs-count-is-more-than-just-a-number.