Wednesday, February 11, 2009

LAUSD Launches $350 Million Solar Energy Program

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Facilities Services Division, in partnership with the Division of Adult and Career Education, launched its latest construction workforce development program, "We Build Green" today at the East Los Angeles Skills Center (ELASC). Participants in the "We Build Green" program will eceive state approved construction training focused on solar technology, design and installation and will be competitively positioned for jobs created from LAUSD's goal of 50 megawatts of solar installations by 2012.
"'We Build' Green is about building a brighter future together," Board President Mónica García said.  "Today we are
building greener schools that teach our children the value of energy conservation, while creating careers and jobs for
our community."

"East Los Angeles Skills Center has been on the cutting edge of solar education for the past two years," ELASC
Principal Wendy Ramirez said. "We are proud that our quality programs have produced a steady stream of
successful candidates who have gone on to good paying jobs in the solar industry, with several starting their own
green businesses."

The "We Build Green" program provides 400 hours of instruction and training. The first phase of the program consists
of 160 hours of instruction, including an introduction to solar technology and installation. Students that successfully
complete this portion of the program will be qualified to enroll in a course to prepare them for nationally recognized
solar installation certification. The "We Build Green" program will connect its graduates to contractors installing solar
panels on District facilities, and to union apprenticeship programs.

LAUSD's original "We Build" program has provided pre-apprenticeship construction training to local district residents
since 2004 to help meet a 50 percent local worker participation goal. Once participants complete "We Build" training,
they are competitively positioned for placement on LAUSD construction projects through contractors or local trade
unions. The "We Build" program provides district residents with access to a career that provides good pay, benefits
and a pension through union apprenticeship.

"Beyond building and modernizing schools, one of our greatest successes continues to be our workforce
development programs for residents in our communities," LAUSD Chief Facilities Executive Guy Mehula said. "'We
Build Green' will help us reach our goal of 50 megawatts of solar installations at our facilities by 2012, and will invest
in the economic health of the Los Angeles region."

ELASC has been a leader in Solar Electricity Education for the past two years. ELASC was the first public education
provider of solar installation education in Southern California, and the first North American Board of Certified
Practitioners provider in the region.

Built on the "We Build" program model for the construction trades, "We Build Green" is strategically designed to train
local residents to support the District's planned $200 million solar investment. The "We Build Green" and "We Build"
are part of LAUSD's $20.1 Billion New School Construction & Modernization Program (Measures BB, K, R and Y).
The building program is designed to eliminate involuntary busing and year round calendars by providing safe and
healthy neighborhood schools on a traditional, two-semester calendar for every student. To date, LAUSD has
completed 76 new schools, 59 additions, 80,000 new K-12 classroom seats and 18,000 modernization and repair
projects at schools throughout the District. For more information, please visit
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