This month we kicked off our first Installation Basics Training (IBT 200) program cohort of the year! This 5-week program consists of hands-on training labs and a practical application of occupational skill sets in real-world scenarios. Our diverse group of trainees come from various backgrounds, cities, states and are determined to receive solar installation skills to elevate their careers in the solar industry! The demand for our IBT 200 program has been so high that we increased our scheduled number of cohorts from five to seven this year.
In addition to increasing our number of cohorts, we are also expanding geographically so that our IBT 200 program will be offered in Stockton and Butte County. Next month in Stockton, through our new partnership with nonprofit organization Fathers and Families of San Joaquin, we will be introducing the Stockton community to IBT 200 with the help of our mobile training trailer. Fathers & Families of San Joaquin has been recognized as a leader in alternative interventions and programs to reduce recidivism among formerly incarcerated men of color, and for innovative youth development approaches focused on healing, culture, and community leadership.
Miguel Ruiz, GRID North Valley’s Workforce Development and Volunteerism Fellow works hard on the program and helps to recruit participants. He shared his thoughts on the growth of this exceptional program, "It's exciting to see IBT 200 grow from its first year with five cohorts to now running seven cohorts in our second year. What's been more interesting about now having seven cohorts is taking things on the road to partner with Stockton's Fathers and Families and planning work in Butte County to help with Disaster Relief for the survivors of the Camp Fire. Another big goal for us this year is to do more to serve the re-entry population in the North Valley region. As a job training program, we are happy to help people prepare to dive back into the workforce."
In a few short weeks, our first group of trainees will graduate the IBT 200 program and be able to use their newly gained skills to pursue a career in solar. We couldn’t be more excited for their futures as well as all of the wonderful trainees we’ll work with this year and beyond!