Two Week GRID Course for Job Trainees a Success!

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November 26, 2014
Rising Sun

Over the course of two weeks, Rising Sun Energy Center partnered with GRID Alternatives Bay Area for a GRID-customized intensive solar PV training course to supplement their pre-apprenticeship program that prepares adults for careers in construction, energy efficiency, and the solar industry. Unsurprisingly, the students benefited most from connecting classroom experience to the hands-on work GRID provides!

As a fellow Bay Area energy and workforce development nonprofit, Rising Sun’s mission is similarly aligned with GRID’s work, and is a natural partnership that helps bring more people to green jobs in the community. With the support of a SunPower grant, Rising Sun was able to sponsor students for a two week GRID course that was customized to include two days of classroom training on mock roofs combined with training on solar basics, two full real installations, and one final day of soft-skill building.

The greatest take-away students had from the experience was the hands-on component of their class – an area in which GRID shines. GRID’s job training and workforce development efforts provide a unique, one-stop-shop, real-world training solar installation experience for anyone that comes out on the roof with us. Rising Sun students had the opportunity to install solar, not just on one house, but two, over the course of four days. With the guidance of our skilled and dedicated Solar Installation Supervisors and Team Leaders, this experience enabled students to put their training in the classroom to use right away.

At the end of the course, thanks to GRID superstar volunteers, students engaged with guest speakers from six different solar companies to learn about solar career paths, and better understand what employers look for. Some students even stayed after class to write job applications.

“At GRID we love supporting people searching for solar jobs,” shares Workforce Development and Volunteer Coordinator, Bret Carr. “This program shows our commitment to serving solar job-seekers and helping them get the training, hands-on experience, and advice needed to fulfill their solar employment dreams.”

Let’s not forget just how awesome this two week win was for everyone! In addition to intensive training for green job seekers, two low-income homeowners each have a new solar system, which means a collective 4.3 kW installed; translating this to the economic and environmental impacts this is over $36,000 in savings over those systems life-spans, and a prevention of over 100 tons of Greenhouse Gas Emissions – the equivalent of taking 20 cars off the road for a whole year!

GRID was proud to teach Rising Sun’s engaged and invested students for this two week training course. To see photos from the training days see here. If you are interested in learning more about partnering with GRID on workforce development efforts, please contact Bret at volunteerba@gridalternatives.org.