COVID-19 brought challenges to many during 2020, but even through the pandemic GRID Alternatives Inland Empire (GRID IE) job trainees showed resilience and success. As California faced a pandemic and stay-at-home orders, GRID Alternatives made the difficult decision to stop all hands-on training, including GRIDIE’s Solar Construction Cohort Program. Fortunately, the trainee’s participating in the Solar Construction Cohort Program had the opportunity to complete the classroom portion of training via distance learning.
One of the Solar Construction Cohort trainees was Carlos Ferreyra, who learned about GRID’s paid internship program through the Riverside County Workforce Development office. Prior to participating in GRID’s internship, Carlos didn’t know anything about the solar industry but jumped at the opportunity of a career in solar.
During Carlos’ training with GRID IE, he learned many different aspects of the solar installation process, including construction safety, and how to install the solar array system on the roof. He shared that one of his most memorable training sessions with GRID IE was “the time we were all in the warehouse learning how to wire the Jbox. It was fun and nerve wracking at the same time, but it was a good time.” Carlos credits his “awesome” learning experience with GRID IE Construction staff like Solar Installation Supervisor, Miguel Rodarte, who explained to Carlos how to bend conduit.
As part of his training with GRID IE, Carlos worked with Workforce and Training Coordinator, Ingrid Murillo, to spruce up his resume, cover letter and interview skills. GRID IE continued to support Carlos’ job search by forwarding his resume to potential employers, including Tesla recruiters. Tesla reached out to Carlos to set up an interview, and he has been working with them since September 2020. Carlos shared that although Tesla’s installation process is a little different and he’s still learning, GRID’s training provided him with an understanding of the array installation process.
When asked what Carlos would say to someone considering a career in solar, he said “Highly recommended because it's an upcoming industry. It's a good way to get into a better career, instead of just a job. Instead of living paycheck to paycheck.”
If you would like information about training in the solar industry visit gridalternatives.org/get-training.