One of the key components of our Workforce Development program at GRID GLA is job placement. During our 13 week hands-on program, Solar Installation Basics Training (IBT) 200, we prioritize job readiness by teaching resume building skills, interview techniques, and we connect our students with opportunities to enter into the solar workforce through events such as last week’s Solar Career Fair, held in Downtown LA’s Little Tokyo at Terasaki Budokan and sponsored by our partner, Southern California Edison (SCE).
Our Vice President of Workforce Development, Adewale OgunBadejo, emphasizes that representation in the emerging solar industry is crucial at this moment in history. “The current and unprecedented level of clean energy investments across the globe is fostering in a new era of economic growth and prosperity. Meaningful investments in training, employment, and entrepreneurship, particularly in local communities that have historically been underserved and overlooked, must come first and be prioritized if we are going to build the workforce of tomorrow that is just equitable and diverse,“ says Adewale.
Here at GRID GLA, we have poured our passion for creating equitable employment opportunities into our training programs. Our Career Fairs are one of the building blocks we offer towards success. Director of Workforce Development, Shameka Dixon, says career fairs are important to GRID training programs “because they allow our trainees an opportunity to showcase their skills and obtain living wage employment to sustain themselves and families. Employers who attend our career fairs understand what the skills and hard work our trainees acquire. We create a space for the two to meet, employer and potential employees.” Shameka and her team, as well as our Construction Team, get to know trainees on a personal level during their 13 weeks training with GRID. “It’s a pleasure to see our trainees dressed professionally and confident in their abilities. This is how we measure our program impact and trainee success.” adds Shameka.
"We have built robust relationships with numerous employers in the renewable energy industry. The experience our trainees have makes them valuable to employers. They can take the knowledge they have and utilize it with the company we connect them to and start a bright future in solar.”
David Andrade, Solar Training Supervisor
Job seekers connecting with employers at our Solar Career Fair.
The Solar Career Fair last week was our first in-person event of its kind since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, and our team enjoyed being able to see the connections between job seekers and employers being made face to face. WFD Coordinator, Andrea Ruiz says, “this past job fair provided participants with the access to great solar companies and be able to represent the skills they obtain during their training at GRID.” The event had 40 participants attending, 6 employers presenting, and 15 pending employment offers as a result. The fair was hosted at Terasaki Budokan, a nonprofit multipurpose sports and activities center in downtown LA (and also one of our commercial clients, having received rooftop solar through GRID GLA in 2019).
Solar Training Supervisor, David Andrade and Solar Installation Supervisor, Sage deLisser
Joining our Workforce Development Team at the Career Fair were members of our Construction Team. Solar Training Supervisor, David Andrade and Solar Installation Supervisor, Sage deLisser were there to serve as support and offer points to trainees. Trainees were able to check in with David and Sage if they had questions around employers, interview questions, etc., and they also spoke to employers regarding the IBT 200 curriculum, giving additional emphasis to trainees being well qualified. Training Supervisor David feels strongly that “supporting our trainees, not only by providing hands-on knowledge of the photovoltaic industry, but linking them to careers in the industry, goes hand in hand.” David continues, “GRID alternatives is the gateway for trainees to careers. We have built robust relationships with numerous employers in the renewable energy industry. The experience our trainees have makes them valuable to employers. They can take the knowledge they have and utilize it with the company we connect them to and start a bright future in solar.” Our Installation Supervisor Sage adds about the fair, “It was great to see folks we have trained have enough solar knowledge to be able to go speak professionally with other employers. As trainers, our job isn’t complete until the people we work with are able to go out, get jobs, and start their careers in solar."
“It’s a pleasure to see our trainees dressed professionally and confident in their abilities. This is how we measure our program impact and trainee success.”
Shameka Dixon, Director of Workforce Development
Our Workforce Development department will continue to grow and center job readiness as part of our efforts. Program Manager, Ashley Martínez says “WFD plans are to continue offering networking events, like the job fair, to its trainees along with opportunities to participate in resume building workshops, mock interviews, one on one coaching and other support services like developing their elevator pitch so when they get in front of potential employers, they feel confident in their ability to present themselves professionally and are ready to hire.”
Thank you to our Workforce Development and Construction teams for a great event!
Solar Career Fair organizers from left to right: Development Manager Lillian Ma, Director of Workforce Development Shameka Dixon, WFD Program Manager Ashley Martínez, and WFD Coordinator Andrea Ruiz.