Exciting news to share! The Imperial Solar Energy Center South (C-Solar South) project has hit a major hiring milestone. Thanks to a local hire agreement between IBEW Local 569 and the project developer, 73% of the electrical workforce dispatched to the project is from Imperial County with 93% of the local hires being new electrical apprentices and trainees. With 28.5 percent unemployment, the highest in the state, this is a big boost to the local economy at a time when Imperial County needs it most. Below are just a few of the personal stories from some of our new members on the job.
Rodolfo Valdez, a new IBEW 569 Apprentice from Calexico who is working on the project comments, “I’m most excited about the apprenticeship because it’s a new career. I appreciate the opportunity the IBEW gave me to be a member and to be productive in the community.”
El Centro resident Rogelio Ruiz, the father of three young children, was unemployed for over a year prior to joining IBEW Local 569’s apprenticeship program and going to work at C-Solar South. He notes, “I have been very impressed with my training and am happy to be able to work and feed my family. I like that the project is so close to home so I can enjoy quality time with my family after work.”
A graduate of El Centro high school, new IBEW 569 Apprentice Pedro Bernal was born and raised in Imperial County. “Before I joined the apprenticeship, I was working at a retail home improvement store. Now, I am making good money at C-Solar South and have a sense of accomplishment about my work. I have a little girl and another on the way and am happy to know I am building a clean energy project so the earth will still be a good place for my kids and their kids.”
Thanks to the pipeline of clean energy projects in Imperial County with IBEW local hire agreements, we are putting local electricians to work, creating good, middle-class green careers and training the next generation of skilled, state-certified electricians in the community.