Beginning My Future In The Trade Industry

By Irene Toledo, GETS Graduate

Women Build means a lot to me. It has been a stepping stone towards me becoming a better person, and has steered me in the right direction for beginning my future in the trade industry.

I saw the flyer about Women Build at the office of my daughter’s preschool. Immediately, I became excited about the chance to become part of the first Women Build cohort. The staff at Rising Sun have been extremely wonderful and engaging with us.  I truly appreciate each of our instructors. As for the women in trades, I’m grateful for women like Meg and Cat who have taken the time to explain what we should expect on work sites once we begin our careers.

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Irene volunteering with Habitat for Humanity

I plan to use this experience, along with the skills we gained in the workshop and in the field to attain full-time employment in a union. I believe this is the best way for me to have a better future and become financially stable enough to care for my family. In this program, I have gotten along with people from different backgrounds and cultures, and I have formed some lasting friendships. I am a giver and I always want to make sure that my peers are fed and taken care of. But everyone has been equally supportive of me.

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Workshop love with Zuri and Jenny

I am interested in pursuing a career in the Sprinkler Fitters or Painters trades. Because of the help from the staff and my other participants, I feel prepared enough to succeed in this male-dominated field. I know that I can handle any situation that comes my way.

Why Women Build Was Meant To Be

By Rokeeda Fernandes, GETS Graduate

I heard about Women Build at a recruitment meeting with Alameda County about the trade unions and their local hiring requirements. I was given a flyer by Susie from Tradeswomen Inc. There was another program that I was interested in joining for both men and women, that was considered to be more military-styled. I was preparing to go to their orientation when I called Melvin, the GETS Case Manager, to find out more information about the program, but I didn’t reach him. As I entered my class, the instructor made an announcement that we would receive a presentation from a man from Rising Sun named Melvin. That was my first sign that Women Build was meant to be.

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Rokeeda, Day 1

From my first day at Rising Sun and all the way through the 8-week program, my experience has been nothing short of amazing. The staff and other program participants are an incredible group of people. I was hesitant to join an all women’s cohort, but I am glad I joined and stayed until the end. I am a reserved person and don’t easily open up to people, but in my own way, I have made connections with some really intelligent and cool women.

Women Build has been quite a journey and I have loved every bit of it. This was the first time I ever enjoyed a school setting and was enthused about coming, even on days when I didn’t feel good. The positive vibes (that I’m big on) were very comforting and inspiring. I have gained strong clarity about where I want to go with my career and I am proud of myself for staying focused throughout the entirety of the program, largely due to the support of my classmates.

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Women Build In Action

I am well into my second week at a carpenters training center and it is hard core but fun. I am 100% going to become a carpenter. I am very creative and handy, and I have always had a lot of interest in building and remodeling things. Now that I am a mother, I am happy to be starting a career as a union carpenter and that I will be able to provide for my daughter.

I am looking forward to my future in the trades and I’m even more excited about being able to come back and tell my story, just like the amazing women before us have done.

 

 

Rising Sun to Honor CEC Commissioner David Hochschild at Bright Night Fundraiser

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Berkeley, CA – April 7, 2016 – On Thursday, April 21, at 6pm, Rising Sun Energy Center will celebrate Bright Night 2016 at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, spotlighting Rising Sun’s continued achievements in youth employment, workforce development, energy and water conservation, and climate justice throughout the region.

Bright Night is Rising Sun’s annual fundraising event, where the organization welcomes 250 guests, including elected officials, corporate partners, and community organizations making an impact within the San Francisco Bay Area, and individual supporters. This year, Rising Sun welcomes Commissioner David Hochschild of the California Energy Commission as the Guest of Honor. Hochschild was appointed to the commission in 2013 by Governor Brown. His career has spanned public service, environmental advocacy and the private sector. His numerous awards include the Sierra Club’s Trailblazer Award for his work to advance clean energy.

Jodi Pincus, Rising Sun’s Executive Director, expressed her enthusiasm for the commissioner joining the event. “Throughout his career, Commissioner Hochschild has exemplified an unparalleled commitment to the innovative expansion of energy efficiency  and advancing clean energy throughout the state that is 100% in line with our values at Rising Sun. We are more than pleased to honor him and his outstanding work at Bright Night this year.”

Guests at Bright Night 2016 will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer, a silent auction, and an inspiring presentation featuring Rising Sun’s program participants. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased through the Rising Sun website: www.risingsunenergy.org/bright-night/.

Bright Night 2016 sponsors include Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Barbara and Gerson Bakar, BBI Construction, Beneficial State Bank, Bright Plain Renewable Energy, Comerica Bank, Compass Financial Communications, the Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union, East Bay Municipal Utilities District, Genentech, the Greenlining Institute, Lance Reynolds, the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association Local Union No. 104, Skeo Solutions, SunPower, and Wells Fargo.

Rising Sun provides supporters with a variety of ways to contribute to Bright Night 2016. Sponsorships range from $20,000 for Visionary recognition to $1,000 for Energy Saver recognition. Benefits include event tickets, a feature in Rising Sun’s newsletter, website and Donor Wall recognition, social media publicity, and much more. For sponsorship inquiries, please contact Abigail Leonard, Development Manager, at leonard@risingsunenergy.org.

About Rising Sun Energy Center

Since 1994, Rising Sun Energy Center is a Berkeley-based non-profit with a mission to empower individuals to achieve environmental and economic sustainability for themselves and their communities. With a focus on under-served populations, Rising Sun provides youth and low-income adults with meaningful training and employment opportunities in the growing energy efficiency sector, while delivering no-cost energy upgrades to thousands of households each year.

www.risingsunenergy.org

CONTACT:

Marrion Johnson

Communications and Development Coordinator

Rising Sun Energy Center

510-665-1501 ext. 106

johnson@risingsunenergy.org

Rising Sun Spotlight: The Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union

By Marrion Johnson

Sustainability is central to Rising Sun’s mission and values. We recognize that our communities require both environmental and economic sustainability in order to create a truly renewable future. For that reason, partnering with the Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union has been a no-brainer to Rising Sun.

As a member-owned and governed financial institution, the Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union has committed itself to providing quality services and education in a caring, responsible, professional manner, while encouraging the financial freedom of its members. Debbie Crowson, the Cooperative Center FCU’s Assistant Vice President of Marketing and Charter Group Relations, believes that credit unions are the best option for folks interested in making their money work for them. “One of the best benefits of joining our union is the low loan rates we offer. If you go to a bank and apply for a credit card, your rates are higher. Here, you’re eligible for lower rates. When you join us you can feel the difference. You feel like you’re a part of something bigger and good.”

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The Cooperative Center FCU staff

The Cooperative Center FCU’s benefits don’t just stop there. They also are always looking for ways to reinvest in the community. “We try to support a lot of local nonprofits like Berkeley Food and Housing and the Alameda County Food Bank. We keep our business local. If we can keep our money in the area, that’s our preference.”

When asked what the credit union loves so much about Rising Sun, Debbie’s answer was simple. “We love your mission. We think you’re innovative, creative and doing wonderful things, especially with the youth.” And we appreciate the support.

Learn more about The Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union here.

Rising Sun Announces Women-Only Construction Class Bridging the Gender Gap in the Building Trades

For Immediate Release

Berkeley, California – March 7, 2016 – Rising Sun Energy Center’s Green Energy Training Services (GETS) program will begin its women-only workforce development cohort, Women Build, on Monday, March 14, 2016. Women Build will be the first and only women’s pre-apprenticeship class offered in the Bay Area. GETS is a job training program for adults who are interested in starting a career in construction, energy efficiency or solar, and union apprenticeships.

Green Energy Training Services has offered a variety of training courses since 2009. GETS’ impact on its more than 500 training participants has been impressive. Over 75% of program graduates have been placed in employment.  Recognizing the lack of women enrolled in each training cohort, in 2015, the GETS team began envisioning an all-female cohort to support women interested in careers in the building trades, and those seeking a pathway towards a union membership. After winning a grant from California’s Workforce Accelerator Fund, the program was greenlit and Rising Sun and a host of partners inclusive of Alameda County Building and Construction Trades Council, the City of Berkeley, Tradeswomen, Inc. began designing the class.

Women Build comes as California’s construction workforce is booming. California estimates 34% of construction job growth over the next seven years. While women make up almost half of the overall workforce, they represent less than 3% of the construction workforce, and only 2% of construction apprentices in the state (National Women’s Law Center, 2014). Women Build will work to fill this gap, specifically addressing the skill and support needs of women, hands-on job training leading to an industry-recognized certification, as well as guidance and tips from female union leaders in the field.

Participants begin with an 8-week training intensive at Rising Sun’s Berkeley facility. After completing training, they benefit from ongoing case management and job placement assistance, as well as alumni events and resources. All participants must be 18 years of age or older, have a high school diploma, GED or equivalent (foreign degrees accepted), have a basic understanding of English, and be eligible to work in the United States. Interested applicants should contact Melvin Parham, the GETS Case Manager, at 510-665-1501 ext. 202.

About Rising Sun

Since 1994, Rising Sun Energy Center (Rising Sun) is a Berkeley-based non-profit with a mission to empower individuals to achieve environmental and economic sustainability for themselves and their communities. With a focus on under-served populations, Rising Sun provides youth and low-income adults with meaningful training and employment opportunities in the growing energy efficiency sector, while delivering no-cost energy upgrades to thousands of households each year.

www.risingsunenergy.org

About Women Build

Women Build, Rising Sun’s pilot all women pre-apprenticeship program, is made possible by support from the California Workforce Development Board’s Workforce Accelerator Fund and through partnership with the Alameda County Workforce Investment Board, the Workforce Benefits Administration of the Alameda County Social Services Agency, the Alameda County Building and Construction Trades Council, the City of Berkeley, Tradeswomen, Inc., the West Oakland Job Resource Center, and Rubicon Programs.

Contact: 

Marrion Johnson

Communications and Development Coordinator

Rising Sun Energy Center

510-665-1501 ext 106

johnson@risingsunenergy.org