The California Energy Commission has a useful website called Clean Energy Workforce Training with information and links for those who want to get jobs in clean energy or further their existing careers. Its homepage lists training and certification providers, as well as cleantech associations. All of them can help job hunters find a green jobs position.
The Energy Commission has also provided 48 grants for cleantech training programs in California. You can view them on a map, rollover your county for a list of training programs, and then click-through the resulting list for information on that specific program. As one who has waded through far too many kludgy State of California websites where finding information is ponderously difficult, I must say, this site is a joy. It’s modern, easy to use, and information is easy to find. (One note: the menu options are a bit hidden and are on the far left of the top image.)
Training programs include courses in Green Building pre-apprenticeship and retraining, Clean Energy pre-apprenticeship and retraining, as well as career advancement in both fields. These courses are designed to find jobs for trainees, with a focus on real world applications and hands-on training. They include retrofitting, green plumbing, solar installation, and more. Some programs focus on training those in desperate straits. The Oakland Green Jobs Corps provides “green pathways out of poverty” with training in multiple cleantech areas. The Farmworker Institute of Education and Leadership Development in Kern County trains the unemployed and dislocated to be residential solar panel installers. The Northern Rural Training and Employment Consortium has training similar to Oakland’s in eleven rural counties in Northern California. Some families will undoubtedly be lifted out of poverty because of training like this. Rather than being on public assistance, they will then be paying taxes. Long-term, this is money well spent.
The website also has a Guide to Employment in Clean Energy with links to multiple organizations providing information and listings of green jobs. These include a green job search engine, background information on the growing green jobs industry, and advice on how to land that first green job.
If you’re a rock climber, then your job hunt is over. Rope Partners was founded by a rock climber and specializes in servicing wind turbines. Most folks get a bit queasy thinking about dangling from a rope 200 feet in the air. But that’s what rock climbers live for. So now they can service wind turbines, and get paid to climb. Business is booming. And if it’s too windy to climb a turbine on a given day, they just head for a nearby cliff for some fun.