Trainee Spotlight: LaNetra Barnes from Conservation Corps Long Beach

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July 23, 2019
A trainee participates in two different aspects of solar installation

LaNetra Barnes, one of four Youth Interns at GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles, is no stranger to hard work. Before joining GRID as an intern, LaNetra participated in GRID installations as a Conservation Corps of Long Beach (CCLB) solar trainee. During her time with CCLB, LaNetra would work the graveyard shift at her security job until 5:00am before getting ready for solar training at 7:00. It wasn’t easy, but after five years of working security, solar represented a chance at a new career path. “I don’t want to feel stuck,” she says, "I’ve been there before, and I know what it feels like."

LaNetra has brought her strong work ethic to everything she does at GRID, from practicing conduit bending to showing volunteers the ropes of solar installation. For LaNetra, the best part about training with GRID is getting pushed outside of her comfort zone. "Even the morning safety talks are hard because I have major stage fright,” she recalls, "but they forced me out of my comfort zone and challenged me to grow." She also loves that GRID gave her the opportunity to teach other volunteers on the job site. "It showed me that I was trusted."

For the future, LaNetra is excited to learn as many construction skills as she can, from electrical wiring to drywall, in hopes of someday becoming a contractor. In the meantime, Netra will be joining GRID as a SolarCorps Fellow in Construction, a thirteen-month opportunity for full-time paid solar training. While she's looking forward to further honing her installation skills, she's most excited about "finally having a work family." Congrats to LaNetra on all your accomplishments, and we look forward to having you on the team!

Our Youth Internship program was generously funded by the Sills Family Foundation, and GRID Alternatives' partnership with Conservation Corps of Long Beach was made possible by Wells Fargo.

The SolarCorps Fellowship Program is part of the AmeriCorps network of programs. SolarCorps is made possible with funding support from AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps VISTA, and Bank of America. AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency for volunteering, service, and civic engagement. CNCS engages millions of Americans in citizen service through its AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs and leads the nation’s volunteer and service efforts. For more information, visit nationalservice.gov!