By Becca Russell
GRID Alternatives, Corporate and Community Relations Officer
A LITTLE IS ENOUGH, IF ENOUGH PEOPLE DO IT
Good jobs change lives. In Sacramento and around the State, job growth is accelerating, unemployment is decreasing. The economy is still booming, but the benefits don’t reach everyone. There are neighborhoods in the region that despite a near decade of economic growth, still face daunting statistics. Statistics like unemployment rates 15 percent higher than Sacramento as a whole, and poverty rates 3 times higher than the State average.
The good news is that construction and related industries are projected to create thousands of new jobs in the coming years. More jobs, in fact, then qualified workers. The Next Economy Cluster Study recently calculates the shortage for construction workers in the region at over 7,000 in the next five years. GRID Alternatives sees the growing Clean Economy and Construction sectors as an opportunity to place people into living wage jobs that can lift families out of poverty.
At GRID Alternatives, we’ve been working since 2001 to ensure the benefits of the growing clean energy economy are accessible to low-income communities and communities of color. Through our unique, people-first model, our programs put money back into families’ pocketbooks, reduces energy cost burden of housing providers, and jumpstarts careers. In the past few years in Sacramento alone, GRID Alternatives has installed no-cost solar electric systems for 400 families, building a distributed power plant that puts millions of dollars back into the hands of families with the greatest need. All while providing training for nearly a thousand participants in real-world solar installation experience.
Our unique program model incorporates Workforce Development into every stage of our projects. Through our Technical Academy, GRID offers no-cost workshops and hands-on curriculum designed to fast track trainees into the job market. Last year, we placed 55% of our 100-hr job trainees in solar and construction careers locally!
This year, our goal is to expand our employer placement network and help more job seekers launch careers that will be key to economic growth in our region. We are honored to have received the 2018 Inspire Giving grant and look forward to being able to broaden our job-readiness offerings, and our outreach to hiring employers and trainees alike.
Inspire Giving award is more than just financial support. It’s an opportunity to leverage a collective impact through the Metro Chamber network. There are many ways to pitch in your support. A little is enough if enough people do it!
Is your business in solar or construction-related Industries?
Contact us to join our employer placement network.
Do you want to roll up your sleeves, and spend a day volunteering to install a solar system for a local family?
We host volunteer opportunities on the 3rd Thursday of every month. Use this link to sign up.
Not interested in a hands-on solar installation volunteer experience?
GRID has a variety of other engagement opportunities. You can share your knowledge with our trainees by leading one of our job readiness workshops. You can support the mission by becoming a donor, or by joining us at one of our networking or fundraising events! You can help spread the word about our program in the region!
We’ve seen amazing projects undertaken through Inspire Giving in the past, and are thrilled to be selected as the 2018 project. Our Corporate & Community Relations Manager, Becca Russell, participated as a volunteer in the project for Lilliput Families last year. “I spent the day digging ditches while others were pulling trees from the ground and loosening soil,” Becca says of her experience. “We were surrounded by a big dirt mess, but towards the end of the day flowers were being planted and the building front of Lilliput Families started to come alive. When returning for their end of year project presentation, I couldn’t believe the transformation!”
At GRID, we are looking forward to working with Inspire Giving members and the entire Metro Chamber network on our own transformation!