First class of Oakland's green job graduates

June 22, 2009 12:33:20 PM PDT
The inaugural class of a nine-month job-training pipeline program in Oakland that provides "green-collar" skills training and jobs to young adults with barriers to employment will graduate today.

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Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and advocates of the training partnership, including the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, will be on hand for the program, which will be held at the Laney College Theater in Oakland at 4 p.m.

The "Oakland Green Jobs Corps" program is a partnership with the city of Oakland, under the leadership of Dellums, and comprised of three agencies: Laney College, the Cypress Mandela Training Center and Growth Sector, Inc.

The purpose of the partnership is to provide job training, environmental education and connections to green jobs to the inaugural class of 40 low-income East Bay residents, with more than half of the participants coming from Oakland.

Students learned green construction skills, solar installation, energy efficiency techniques, and more. The program is based on the research and workforce development model created by Professor Raquel Pinderhughes of San Francisco State University.

"The Oakland Green Jobs Corps embraces a very simple, yet extraordinarily elegant idea: fight poverty and fight pollution simultaneously," Dellums said in a statement.

The initial phase of instruction took place at the Cypress Mandela Training Center, which has decades of experience training and educating young adults with barriers to employment.

The participating businesses that will provide employment opportunities to the trainees include Solar City, Sunlight & Power, Swinerton, Canyon Construction, Federal Building Company, REC Solar, Weather Tight, Sungevity and Dan Antionioli Construction.

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