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Green Job Training In Imperial County

Audio

Aired 11/22/10

A new partnership in the Imperial Valley is geared toward training high school graduates in the growing green economy. The program is one way to increase living-wage jobs in an area with the country's highest unemployment rate.

A new partnership in the Imperial Valley is geared toward training high school graduates in the growing green economy. The program is one way to increase living-wage jobs in an area with the country's highest unemployment rate.

The partnership is between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union (IBEW) and Imperial High School. The sheet metal workers local is also involved.

The IBEW Local 569's Micah Mitrosky said a union apprenticeship introduces students to the skills required in the developing green economy.

"Part of our apprenticeship includes training for solar, wind, geothermal," said Mitrosky

She said the skills used in the construction trades translate nicely to renewable energy projects.

The same skills that are needed to build, for example, a gas-fired powered plant, are the same skills that you need for a geothermal plant," said Mitrosky. "All our apprentices that are going through our program in Imperial County will be ready to go to work in all of those green technologies sectors."

Mitrosky said the five-year apprenticeship is a way for high school graduates to get paid for on-the-job training - and earn college credits, too.

Imperial County had California's highest unemployment rate in October. Although the rate was slightly down from the 30.4 percent in September, in October 29.3 percent of the workforce was jobless.

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