RichmondBUILD, the highly successful local job training program that places 80-percent of its graduates in jobs with an average starting wage of $18.33 per hour, has received a $192,300 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to place graduates in green jobs, it was announced Wednesday.
The grant will train 51 students and place at least 45 graduates in environmental jobs such as solar energy installation, hazardous waste removal and construction, according to an EPA statement.
The EPA said RichmondBUILD graduates will be training to work on the Solar One Project, the planned 60-acre, 12 megawatt solar farm on the Chevron Richmond Refinery property.
Chevron, a longtime partner and funder of RichmondBUILD, has been supporting the program to help ensure local residents are equipped with skills necessary for jobs of the future, including with businesses and building trades unions that support the plant’s operations. As part of an $90 million community benefits agreement with the City of Richmond connected to an upcoming $1 billion project to modernize the refinery, Chevron has provided the 60-acre site to Marin Clean Energy for a solar field.
“We’re pleased to see RichmondBUILD is helping community members gain the skills and experience needed for good-paying, green jobs that help protect our environment,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest.
RichmondBUILD was one of the first job training programs to receive funding from EPA’s Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training program when it was launched in 1998. Overall, EPA has funded 239 job training grants totaling more than $49 million and employing more than 10,000 graduates.