Celebrating Women's History Month!

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March 19, 2012

This year’s Women’s History Month theme is "Women’s Education – Women’s Empowerment." At GRID Alternatives, we make it a goal to empower women by providing opportunities to learn the necessary skills to have long-term careers and to help build a successful green collar workforce and solar community for us all. GRID Alternatives – Inland Empire is celebrating Women’s History Month on a number of fronts: spotlighting some of our women volunteers; and assembling a Women’s Build for one of seven houses at Solarthon in San Jacinto on May 19th!

Carmen Valles, Team Leader

After working for years as a bank executive in the desert, Carmen Valles decided it was time to reinvent herself. Her requirements for starting a new career included two things: 1) it needed to be an up-and-coming industry with room for growth, and 2) it needed to be something she would be passionate about. Carmen enrolled in College of the Desert’s PV class to learn about solar because, in her words, "why not use what’s right in front of us?" After attending a GRID Volunteer Orientation, she began volunteering with GRID Alternatives in June 2011. Carmen has since participated in over 21 solar installations throughout the Inland Empire and became a GRID Alternatives Ground and Roof Team Leader in early September 2011. "I have gained a wealth of knowledge— more knowledge than I could have gained in my classroom setting alone." Carmen and her business partner recently launched their own solar PV and solar thermal installation company in the desert region!

Women’s Build at GRID Alternatives – Inland Empire Solarthon on May 19th

Solarthon is GRID Alternatives’ largest annual community solar installation and block party. In the Inland Empire, we will install 7 systems for 7 homes for 7 families in one neighborhood in San Jacinto in one day! The Women’s Build at Solarthon will have all women volunteers and Team Leaders doing the installation, guided by a GRID woman Solar Installation Supervisor. It is an amazing opportunity for women in the Inland Empire to come together, build camaraderie, and demonstrate their solar skills! Dianne Randle, a single working mother with a teenage daughter, looks forward to receiving her 22-module solar electric system at Solarthon. "These solar electric systems will enrich our lives dramatically. Having that extra money plus the benefits to the environment are excellent!"