Magazine article The Crisis

Solar Equity Initiative Creates Economic Opportunities

Magazine article The Crisis

Solar Equity Initiative Creates Economic Opportunities

Article excerpt

The new energy economy, which is the pathway to the creation of renewable energy, is one of the fastestgrowing sectors of the U.S. economy. This emerging industry is fueling the creation of new jobs such as solar energy installation, sales, customer service and human resources.

Jacqueline Patterson, senior director of the NAACFs Environmental and Climate Justice Program, said the NAACP wants its constituents to be a part of the boom.

"We have an opportunity to own solar," Patterson said. "We are part of the workforce. We are lining up for opportunities in the new energy economy."

The NAACP's Solar Equity Initiative is a yearlong commitment to provide solar job training to 100 people, install solar panels on 20 African American or low-income homes and 10 communit)' centers, and strengthen equity in solar access policies in at least five states.

The pilot project, "Keeping it Green While Living the Dream Fair," kicked off on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend with a solar installation and jobs skills training project at Jenesse Center, Inc., a nationally recognized nonprofit domestic violence prevention and intervention organization in Los Angeles.

Nineteen solar panels were installed at Jenesse's Fannie Lou Hamer Building, and five women from the center received training in solar installation from GRID Alternatives.

"The ladies were eager to get on the roof," said Michelle Hudson, Jenesse's director of special programs. "One of our ladies has already contacted a company because she wants to get trained and pursue this as a career. …

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