GRID Alternatives’ mission supports multiple levels of workforce development and service-learning opportunities, from volunteerism to in-depth solar training and paid internships. GRID’s typical hands-on job-training model invites individuals to join GRID staff on roof-tops and experience the installation first-hand. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic GRID had to make the tough decision to halt all its training and reevaluate how to provide solar-job training opportunities to the communities it serves.
In the midst of many restrictions and limitations, the GRID North Valley team, with support from HQ Workforce and Construction team, developed the Virtual Installation Basics Training (IBT) Program. The Virtual IBT Program is an online virtual training consisting of 40 hours of curriculum, videos, and quizzes. Individuals graduate with advanced solar knowledge and valuable employer connections.
The GRID Alternatives Inland Empire (GRID IE) Workforce and Volunteer team, Sandra Romero and Ingrid Murillo, successfully piloted and executed its first Virtual IBT cohort in March 2021. Ingrid and Sandra led a cohort of 14 solar and renewable energy enthusiasts. This diverse class was composed of individuals from different backgrounds, including retired engineers, current electrical college students, construction workers and past GRID installation volunteers among others.
After completing the Virtual IBT program, the 14 participants are now eligible for paid-training opportunities like GRID’s Sub-contractor Partner Program (SPP) and the Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) Program. One trainee has successfully started working with GRID IE as a construction assistant, and another will start his hands-on installation training through the SOMAH Program.
GRID IE will continue to host future Virtual IBT cohorts. The next cohort will be from June 21, 2021 to July 2, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. If you are interested in participating in the next training, fill out the Virtual IBT Interest Form.