California Solar Integrators Inc. (Cal Solar) has partnered with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) to hire local youths to install rooftop solar for a housing redevelopment project in the city.
In their redevelopment efforts, HACLA aims to revitalize entire communities. Through the partnership with Cal Solar, 10 members of PVJobs’ local workforce were hired onsite to perform work at Related Development’s Rose Hill Courts affordable housing project in northeast Los Angeles. The project will be completed in two phases and will include 330 kW of solar PV mounted on the roof to promote sustainability for its 185 new units aimed at housing extremely, very low- and low-income families.
PVJobs is a nonprofit organization that seeks to provide career-track employment opportunities for at-risk youth, adults and veterans in construction and related industries. All 10 of those hired for the Rose Hill Courts jobsite are participants of the PVJobs YouthBuild program, which aims to assist low-income youths 16-24 years old with educational assistance and skills to prepare them to become self-sufficient.
When asked why they were involved in the program, one participant said: “I got involved in this program to start my career in construction. I just had a child and want to be able to support my family with steady income from a good job despite my record.”
While filling out their employment applications assisted by HACLA, PVJobs and Cal Solar staff, participants shared hopeful remarks about what this opportunity could bring them: “I hope this program allows me to progress through a career in construction and provides stability for my family.” Another participant said, “I hope this program will give me experience in the industry that I can take to other jobs in the future.”
All of these are welcome sentiments to Sean Neman, CEO of Cal Solar, a renewable energy design-build contractor with locations in L.A., Oakland and San Diego.
“Our industry is in desperate need to fill the jobs that will help California achieve its energy and environmental goals,” Neman said. “Programs and efforts like this are essential, whether it’s viewed from the state, company or individual perspective. We are honored to be a part of it.”
Neman added that Cal Solar is excited to empower communities by employing members of the local workforce and plans to continue this partnership with HACLA on as many future projects as possible.
— Solar Builder magazine