Who is IBT 200 for?

In December 2023, we discussed what IBT 200 is. In this month's continuation of IBT 200 content, let’s dive into who the training is for

Who is IBT 200 for?

At GRID IE, solar training is an essential part of our work. In 2022, we dedicated 4,940 hours of hands-on training to our community, including students from Desert Hot Spring High School REAL Academy and members of Bishop Paiute Tribe. With IBT 200, our Workforce Team revolutionized the Inland Empire's access to learning a trade skill from professionals. With that, let’s meet a few of IBT 200’s first graduates and hear what advice they have for anyone considering the program!


Jeffrey (he/him/his)

Jeffrey discovered our IBT 200 program through a friend at the Inland Empire Center for Employment Opportunities, or CEO, which offers employment assistance for justice-impacted people. “Myself being justice impacted, I gained interest in IBT 200 because it would provide solar training. When IBT 200 opened up, I let CEO know, and they helped me apply for an interview. I'm in the process of changing, and if I hadn't gotten into IBT 200, I wouldn't have been surprised. When I did, I knew this is what I needed to be doing—this is what I want out of life.” Having pursued another trade skill in the past, solar is the first trade skill that Jeffrey plans on making a career out of.

Jeffrey’s advice:
If you’re curious about joining GRID IE’s IBT 200 program, Jeffrey says: “Be serious about it—GRID IE’s team is here to train you well and get you employed. Solar is a good field to get into, but if your main focus is the pay, that’s the wrong attitude. You're going to be out in the sun—think about if that's something you can see yourself doing. Over 30 interviewed for my class of 6, so getting a spot is a big deal. If you're interested in solar and don't know how to get into it—this is it.” Ultimately, Jeffrey suggests taking full advantage of the help out there for anyone seeking change.

Throughout the past year, Jeffrey has enjoyed taking charge of his life. “Seeing the progress on the changes I’ve made, the positive changes happening. I’m at peace with myself,” shared Jeffrey. Stay tuned for more about Jeffrey’s post-IBT 200 goals in this series!


Marco (he/him/his)

Meet Marco, a GRID IE volunteer since 2017! After 36 hours of dedicated field work alongside our Construction Team, Marco decided it was time to further himself for an exciting, new job path. “I'm in a position where I have my own place and a good job at a grocery store,” expressed Marco, who felt ready to take on his first trade skill through GRID IE’s IBT 200 program. 

During the program, Marco loved the early starts and “waking up at 6 am to see the sunrise and clouds”—something his closing shifts at the grocery store rarely allowed in his schedule. While early mornings were easy for Marco, IBT 200 also came with its challenges, which we’ll discover in our upcoming stories in this series.


Rio (he/him/his)

Like each of our IBT 200 graduates, Rio’s story has its own beginning: “I participated in GRID IE’s free Virtual IBT 200 training, or VIBT 200, where I got my completion certificate through GRID IE.” Rio met Sandra and Paola, members of our IE Workforce Team, during a CEO orientation that promoted IBT 200. Before pursuing solar, Rio explored a plethora of trade skills, including fixing soldiers' headstones, irrigation, concrete work, and building houses. “My dad is a carpenter and licensed contractor, so I grew up around the construction field.” As IBT 200 resumed, Rio realized that many of his previous skills from other trades could be applied to solar installation.

Rio’s advice:
After being trained in multiple trade skills, Rio said: “If you're serious about having a new career in solar, IBT 200 is a great opportunity that lifts you off the ground. The opportunities are beyond what can be explained in 1-2 sentences: the hard skills and soft skills—including learning how to get out of your shell in an industry that requires teamwork and communication. Now that I'm a graduate—I can confidently say that the program takes dedication.” While Rio recommends IBT 200 for anyone entering the solar industry, he stresses the importance of taking it seriously so as not to take the opportunity away from somebody else who wants it.

After completing IBT 200, Rio hopes to purchase a car and dedicate more of his free time to the mechanical aspect of cars: “Maybe even begin a YouTube channel to show that anyone can learn to upgrade their car. I think it would be a good way to exercise my social and instructional skills, which has been a learning topic in IBT 200!”

Now that you’ve been introduced to some of our graduates, we hope you’ve gained insight into who IBT 200 is designed for. Whether you’re experienced or starting a new career, our new graduates agree that IBT 200 is meant for anyone who has real plans to enter the solar industry!

Be sure to tune in next month, where we will discover the most significant challenges our graduates faced during IBT 200. See you then!