In the process, more than 40,000 solar panel installers like Darean Nguyen gain valuable hands-on job training for a career in solar.
GRID in the News
GRID Alternatives, a nonprofit that installs solar systems exclusively for low-income communities, applied as the solar contractor for several qualifying projects in Ventura County.
For many, finding a job after leaving military service can be difficult. This group of veterans in Orange County are undergoing training for work in the solar power industry.
The largest local nonprofit solar panel installer is the Los Angeles chapter of Oakland-based Grid Alternatives, which has offices throughout California, Colorado and the mid-Atlantic region. Downtown-based Homeboy Industries also has a nonprofit solar installation program, with the main focus on workforce training.
GRID Alternatives, a nonprofit solar energy installer and job trainer, will install solar panels over the newly constructed carports at Potter's Lane.
"Potter's Lane is an innovative community, and we're proud to be installing multifamily solar for the veterans who live here," said Michael Kadish, executive director of GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles.
"Wells Fargo is proud to partner with American Family Housing and GRID Alternatives to provide energy savings for our veterans and to invest in career pathways to green technology jobs," said Marcia Choo, vice president, Wells Fargo Community Relations.
It also offers immediate housing to disaster-struck communities and may be a solution for the homeless in Los Angeles.
Still, a negative perception of felons within the solar industry — and society broadly — is a major barrier, according to Adewale OgunBadejo, a workforce development manager with Grid Alternatives in greater Los Angeles.
The workers on today's installation are retirees, veterans, formerly incarcerated people, at-risk youth, and others seeking to transition into green energy jobs. Under the supervision of solar installation specialist Natalie Andrade, I'm helping to build the attachment that will hold the forty-pound silicon modules in place.