RichmondBUILD Awarded $115,000 for Green Workforce Training

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California's Lt. Governor inspires Green Workforce training students.

Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom at RichmondBuild Graduation

Fundamentally, it’s decisions, not conditions that shape our future.

Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom spoke to the graduates of RichmondBuild at the recent graduation of “Cohort Fifteen” about how profoundly important choice is in shaping the future. “Fundamentally, it’s decisions, not conditions that shape our future,” said Newsom. He talked about the importance of building green jobs, about personal accountability and scaling successful programs that embody best practices at the August 19th, 2011 graduation held at RichmondBuild’s training facility at 23rd Street.

RichmondBuild has received national recognition as a “best practice” Green-Collar job training program for its innovative work in preparing residents for careers in the clean and renewable technology industries.

Chevron, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) contributed a combined $115,000 with Chevron handing out the largest check of $100,000 at the event.

Sal Vaca, Richmond’s director of employment and training, said the grant money will keep the program afloat until at least next year. “This gives us the opportunity to have the program in place and be able to re-apply to the Department of Labor for funding for next year,” Vaca said.

To date, RichmondBUILD has achieved an impressive 80% job placement rate for program graduates with many obtaining employment in the green industry at an average starting wage of $18 an hour. Twenty graduates were not at the ceremony. They were on the job already.

The City of Richmond is widely recognized as a leader in providing training programs in the clean and renewable industries with the RichmondBUILD Green Careers Academy. The strong partnership established by the City of Richmond with Contra Costa College, Solar Richmond, and Rising Sun Energy Center offers innovative training in green construction, solar installation, and energy efficiency.

For more information, please contact Mr. Sal Vaca, Employment and Training Director at (510) 307-8021 or svaca(at)richmondworks(dot)org

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