GRID in the Inland Empire
GRID IE opened its doors in April 2011, and our success is derived from our triple bottom line: People, Planet, and Employment. Each solar project generates three-pronged results: savings for low-income families; hands-on experience for people interested in the solar industry; and environmental benefits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and raising environmental consciousness. Check out one of GRID IE's solar installations featured on Rancho Cucamonga's "Healthy RC Living."
Why Solarize the Inland Empire?
The Inland Empire covers more than 37,540 square miles and most of the area's population is located in the southwest of San Bernardino County and the northwest of Riverside County. The IE is known as a major manufacturing and shipping hub in California. GRID IE's triple bottom line approach works because the region has among the highest poverty and unemployment rates in the state, and one of the worst air quality rates:
- The current population is over 4.3 million, which makes it the third most populous metropolitan area in the state of California.
- In 2010, poverty levels were 16.4% and 18.1% for Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
- Solar power saves families every month on their electricity bills, money they can use to pay the mortgage, feed their families or pay for education.
- In 2012, the number of poor air days due to fine particulate matter was 36 and 26 for Riverside and San Bernardino Counties respectively, California had 16 overall.
- In 2012, the number of poor air quality days due to ozone was 107 and 116 for Riverside and San Bernardino Counties respectively, California had 51 overall.
- Solar power is a clean, renewable energy source that does not pollute the air.
- In 2012, unemployment rates were 14.7% and 14.2% for Riverside and San Bernardino Counties
- Educational and job training opportunities in the Inland Empire are limited to classroom-based curriculum while employers demand hands-on experience.
- GRID Alternatives provides thousands of hands-on training opportunities to job seekers each year.
GRID Alternatives provides no- to very-low-cost solar power for low-income families while providing hands-on installation experience for job seekers and community volunteers. We also offer technical assistance and turnkey installation services to multifamily affordable housing developers. Learn more.
Hands-on experience is central to our model, and we want to help turn that experience into meaningful employment opportunities for people in communities we serve. Our workforce development programs and initiatives include:
- Installation Training Programs, training programs offering volunteers hands-on installation training to develop their skills and increase employment opportunities.
- National Women in Solar Initiative, a national initiative to build a more inclusive solar workforce and connect an industry that needs good people with communities that need good jobs.
- SolarCorps Fellowships, one-year placements at GRID Alternatives that give participants the opportunity to get broad and deep experience in a variety of aspects of the industry.
- Solar Futures, a K-14 education program offering classroom curriculum and hands-on training for youth.
- Troops to Solar, an initiative supported by Wells Fargo to connect veterans to solar industry jobs by providing workforce training to U.S. military veterans and active service members across the country.