Solar Richmond, a Pioneer in
This summer, in addition to teaching
solar to our 8th cohort of Richmond
residents, we're focusing on scaling-up
our job-creation efforts in the solar
industry. We're reaching out to
community building owners and promoting
solar to them. Churches, schools and
NGO's inhabit larger buildings that use
more energy and thus require a larger
solar system, ultimately providing more
installation time on the roof for our
graduates. It's a big undertaking but
we're confident that we can do it.
Currently we're working to secure the
financing for these installs, and
promoting the idea to more community
groups and churches.
It's a win-win, because not only do our
graduates gain more work experience, but
the selected non-profit locks-in its
energy costs for the next 25 years, a
goal worthy in and of itself. So if you
know of a neighborhood church, school or
other community building that may be
ready to go solar, pass them our way.
Also, mark your calendar and join us on
Friday July 31st at our next live solar
install day, 9-11am.
We hope this note finds you well...happy
~ The Solar Richmond Team
Building Leaders & Spokesman in Richmond
Solar Richmond's Executive Director,
Michele McGeoy, received a leadership
award and grant from a law firm in San
Francisco, recognizing her for her work
in the Richmond community. McGeoy has
invested these funds back into creating
more leaders in Richmond, facilitating
personal exploration and allowing them
to tell their personal stories.
This digital storytelling project was a
unique opportunity for 11 of our solar
training program graduates to partake in
a 3-day intensive writing, sound and
visual production workshop in Berkeley.
Each participant created
a 3-minute personal video, a
powerful project that emphasized writing
skills, photography techniques and
computer training. Our goal was to help
graduates use these media tools to share
and value stories from their lives in
ways that promotes artistic expression,
health, justice and self-empowerment. We
hosted a screening for their friends and
family shortly thereafter; it was a
powerful and emotional 2 hours for all.
how powerful their voices are and now
we're able to share these stories with
the world, maybe even Obama soon enough!
Transitional Solar Employment: a Savior
in Hard Economic Times
and more each day, Solar Richmond
believes that temp-to-perm transitional
employment is a key element in any
successful green-collar jobs program
like ours in Richmond.
That's why we've been working to find
temporary work opportunities for our
graduates, in addition to permanent
positions. A recent SolarRichmondBUILD
graduate Hector Vasquez, 39, a native
of El Salvador, had been unemployed
for five months after working eight
years as a driver at DHL Express out of
After going through our training
program, he was started working with
Silverwood Energy Inc. in late May as a
temp, helping to install a 640kw solar
system on a large retail company's
building in Livermore. "The workday
starts at 7 and ends at 3:30, it's hard
work," he says "since it's hot up on the
roof," but he's making prevailing wages
and happy to have this opportunity.
Silverwood, a San Diego-based solar
installer, has said that they've enjoyed
working with him and would hire him on
permanently if they create a Northern
Richmond Donor & Champion
Marilyn Langlois, a Community Advocate
in the City of Richmond's Mayoral
Office, is a loyal SR supporter and
"I love Solar
Richmond, because it is so supportive of
real people, their relationships with
each other and their relationship with
the earth. The digital stories created
by SolarRichmondBUILD graduates show the
depth and power of this amazing
I grew up and went to school in El
Cerrito and returned to West Contra
Costa, settling in Richmond, in 2002.
In January, 2008, I started working for
Mayor Gayle McLaughlin as a community
advocate. In Richmond it's fun going
green: walking, bicycling, and growing
vegetables with friends and neighbors.
I ditched my dryer years ago and rely
instead on the original solar appliance:
RichmondBUILD Instructor is
RichmondBUILD's new construction trainer
for their 7-month piece of our joint
training program, is a certified New
Home Rater and has his Green Building
Certificate from Berkeley's renowned
Build It Green program.
Before coming to RichmondBUILD, Vernon
worked at the City of Berkeley for 10
years in the maintenance department.
With our next cohort he will incorporate
a basic but all-important green building
concept called "optimal framing," which
cuts down on the amount of wood needed
and provides more shading.
Vernon's teaching style is much like his
attitude in general, easygoing but
precise. "I don't believe in the drill
sergeant style of teaching because
that's not how it's going to be on the
job-site. A typical job site will treat
you with dignity, and so that's how I
like to teach."
general contractor who since 1992 has
owned his own company called Final Cut,
Vernon does new construction,
restoration and design consultation and
hopes to hire on program graduates
himself on an as-needed basis at Final
Solar Richmond would like to
The Firedoll Foundation for its generous
grant to fund this work!
NEW transitional solar employers of our
graduates: SunEdison, SunWaterSolar,
Silverwood Energy Inc.
Donate to Solar Richmond and make
an investment in the environment, the
local economy and our struggling
Richmond community all in one.
Monthly donations are especially
Links & More
Our next live solar install day is
Friday July 31st, 9-11am. Mark your
calendar and invite colleagues,
neighbors and friends to this inspiring
event where you see green-collar job
training in action!
Solar Richmond featured as Best Practice
green-collar job training program in
U.S. Conference of Mayors' Newsletter
RSF Social Finance visits Solar Richmond
Ask your friends, family and colleagues
if they are thinking of going solar and
refer them to us:
they can sign-up online
Markell Parker, 20, a program graduate
and Sun Light & Power employee, installs
solar at Crescent Park, an affordable
housing right here in Richmond !
phone: +1 (510) 621-1719
fax: +1 (510) 439-2720
Solar Richmond | 360 South 27th St | Richmond | CA | 94804