GRID in the Inland Empire
GRID IE opened its doors in April 2011, and our success is derived from our triple bottom line: People, Planet, and Employment. Each solar project generates three-pronged results: savings for low-income families; hands-on experience for people interested in the solar industry; and environmental benefits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and raising environmental consciousness. Check out one of GRID IE's solar installations featured on Rancho Cucamonga's "Healthy RC Living."
Why Solarize the Inland Empire?
The Inland Empire covers more than 37,540 square miles and most of the area's population is located in the southwest of San Bernardino County and the northwest of Riverside County. The IE is known as a major manufacturing and shipping hub in California. GRID IE's triple bottom line approach works because the region has among the highest poverty and unemployment rates in the state, and one of the worst air quality rates:
- The current population is over 4.3 million, which makes it the third most populous metropolitan area in the state of California.
- In 2017, poverty levels were 17.8% for Riverside and 20.4% for San Bernardino Counties according to CHSI and CDC report (cdc.gov)
- Solar power saves families every month on their electricity bills, money they can use to pay the mortgage, feed their families or pay for education.
- According to the 2017 State of the Air Report (American Lung Association), the number of poor air days due to fine particulate matter was 36 for Riverside and 18 for San Bernardino Counties respectively.
- In 2017, the number of poor air quality days due to ozone was 106 for Riverside and 117 for San Bernardino Counties respectively.
- Solar power is a clean, renewable energy source that does not pollute the air.
- In 2017, unemployment rates for Riverside and San Bernardino Counties combined were 5.5%.
- GRID offers both a classroom-based curriculum, as well as hand-on instruction.
- GRID Alternatives provides a Resume Bank with a network of partners searching for qualified job candidates.
Energy for All Programs (formerly Solar Programs)
GRID's unique, people-first model is putting money back into families' pockets, increasing housing affordability and reducing the energy cost burden for affordable housing providers.
Hands-on experience is central to our model, and we want to help turn that experience into meaningful employment opportunities for people in communities we serve. Our workforce development programs and initiatives include:
- Installation Basic Training Program(IBT), offers participants hands-on installation training to develop their skills and increase employment opportunities.
- National Women in Solar Program, an effort to build a diverse, equitable and inclusive solar industry by providing pathways to technical careers for women, highlighting the voices of women of color in the industry, and providing national leadership on solar workforce diversity.
- SolarCorps Fellowships, one-year placements at GRID Alternatives that give participants the opportunity to get broad and deep experience in a variety of aspects of the industry.
- Solar Futures, a K-14 education program offering classroom curriculum and hands-on training for youth.
- Troops to Solar, an initiative supported by Wells Fargo to connect veterans to solar industry jobs by providing workforce training to U.S. military veterans and active service members across the country.
- Team Leader, trainees who want to develop their technical and leadership skills in order to prepare for more advanced roles in the industry and the NABCEP PV Professional Installer Exam.