Green Jobs Project Targets Low-Income San Diego Residents

SAN DIEGO — Jonah Holloway needs a job and wants to help create a better future for his two sons. He’s hoping that by participating in a local Green Careers Training Program, he can accomplish both.

Holloway, a 31-year-old Logan Heights resident, was one of about 50 people who showed up Monday morning to a 90-minute orientation and presentation for training sponsored by Maximizing Access for the Advancement of our Communities (MACC). MAAC will accept between 20 and 25 applicants for a 12-week program.

Water conservation is one of the fields for which there will be training, and that is of particular interest to Holloway.

“There’s a shortage in water,” said Holloway, who sons are aged 12 and 3. “I have two young kids, and they’re going to need water for years to come.”

This is the third cycle of the training program, with previous cycles having received as many as four applicants for each available spot, MAAC Project Program Director Craig Frederickson said.

The program includes a $3,000 stipend, and everyone who submits an application will be interviewed. Applicants must demonstrate high school level reading and math skills by passing a 50-question test.

On Monday, an ethnically-diverse group of men and women of all ages showed up to ask questions and submit applications.

“This is only your first step,” Karim Bouris, director of community and workforce development, told the crowd. “For 12 weeks, you’re going to learn with us, but you’re also going to figure out what is your plan.”

The program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, focuses on three types of green jobs: Retrofit work, energy auditor and water management, Bouris said.

Those who make it into the program will undergo employment readiness training, construction training and an introduction to green industry and careers.

Applicants must prove they have a low income. Ninety percent of the spots are reserved for residents of Barrio Logan, Logan Heights and Sherman Heights. Residents from outside that area are eligible for the remaining 10 percent, which adds up to two or three spots.

Anthony Tobe, a 43-year-old El Cajon resident, said he is hoping for one of those final spots. Tobe said he applied unsuccessfully for the last training cycle, but his nephew made it.

“He loved it,” Tobe said. “I’m going to keep doing it until God blesses me with the opportunity to be a provider.”

See the original post on Sign On San Diego. By Nathan Max. January 10, 2011.