Empowering the Next Generation: A conversation with Jose Velarde, a GRID Alternatives Community Engagement Trainee

We are delighted to introduce you to Jose Velarde, a remarkable Mendocino College student who has been an invaluable asset to our North Coast team as a community engagement trainee. Since his introduction to GRID during a sustainable construction class, Jose has brought enthusiasm, dedication, and a shared belief in our mission to his work with us.

Our very own Kelsey Radmilovic had the opportunity to sit down with Jose and hear about his experience as a trainee. Let’s dive into the conversation!

Jose shared that he is a 28-year-old man with a loving wife and daughter who means the world to him. Growing up in Willits, CA, he attended Mendocino College where he first encountered GRID during a presentation in his construction class. Inspired by our shared beliefs and the values we uphold, Jose approached us after the presentation to express his interest in joining our team.

Working alongside the GRID team has been a truly enriching experience for Jose. He described the staff as amazing, emphasizing their dedication to both their work and supporting his growth. ”There have been multiple times where I would get stuck and someone is always more than happy to help me resolve any problems or issues I may have.” Jose said. 

When asked about the highlights of his trainee experience, Jose shared two significant moments. The first was his opportunity to visit the Round Valley Indian Tribes community, where he personally engaged with clients and witnessed the impact of our work firsthand. The second highlight was participating in the Mendocino Career Fair, representing GRID, and sharing our mission with the broader community.

Looking to the future, Jose firmly believes that his experience with GRID will open doors in the solar industry. “With all the new knowledge that I have acquired both with the online Solar Installation Basic Training course I completed with GRID and the hands-on training I feel confident that this will help me open doors in the solar industry,” Valverde said.

In closing, Jose recommends to everyone explore the world of the clean renewable energy industry. “I would encourage people to really look into clean solar energy now that I have this experience as a Trainee I am now able to see what an impact this organization has on low-income communities and the environment.” 

He extends a heartfelt invitation to individuals and organizations alike to join GRID’s transformative journey toward realizing our mission of building community-powered solutions to advance economic and environmental justice that leaves no one behind.

We are immensely grateful for Jose’s dedication and contribution to the Bay Area-North Coast team. His passion for clean energy and commitment to making a difference is inspiring. As GRID Alternatives Bay Area-North Coast continues to empower the next generation of solar leaders, we look forward to witnessing the bright future that lies ahead.