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August 18, 2011

Gavin Newsom to speak, Chevron to donate at Richmond green job training program
By: By Robert Rogers and Tyler Orsburn | August 18, 2011 – 4:37 pm |
RichmondBUILD graduation ceremony

  • When: 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Fri., Aug. 19
  • Where: 500 23rd Street
  • Why: Announce graduation from Green jobs program and major infusion of new funds from private donors
  • Who: Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner and city and corporate leaders will be on hand

California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and state Assemblymember Nancy Skinner will be featured speakers at Friday’s RichmondBUILD Graduation ceremony.
More than a dozen local kids and young adults will graduate from the job-training program, which aims to prepare locals for “green collar” jobs in the clean and renewable technology industries.
Also at the ceremony, Chevron Corp. will announce a $100,000 grant to the program. Contributions from utility company PG&E and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory — which is considering six local sites including Richmond for its new facility – - bring the total gifts to RichmondBUILD to about $115,000.
Chevron’s donation was, in part, prompted by Councilman Corky Booze’s appeals to the energy giant, according to Chevron Corp. spokesperson Melissa Ritchie. ”This investment came about as a result of Councilmember Corky Booze’s leadership in reaching out to Chevron to ensure that programs like [RichmondBUILD] are available to help prepare Richmond’s youth to enter the workforce with the skills and training necessary to be successful,” Ritchie wrote in an email late Thursday.
The City of Richmond’s RichmondBUILD Green Careers Academy has garnered national attention as a leader in providing training programs in clean and renewable industries. The city-led training effort is made possible in part by the partnerships with Contra Costa College, Solar Richmond, and Rising Sun Energy Center.
Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco and a longtime advocate of green technology and clean energy, will be the featured speaker.
Booze praised Chevron Corp. for being willing to donate to the city’s efforts. ”Chevron knows that I’m concerned about jobs, concerned about crime, and they want to work with me and I appreciate them willing to work with me,” Booze said, adding that the city’s 19 percent unemployment rate was his chief concern. “I made a commitment to this community, that I would do everything I could to see to it that people get employed.”
The donations come at a crucial time for the training programs. Sal Vaca, Richmond’s director of employment and training, said the grant money will keep the program afloat until at least next year. ”This gives us the opportunity to have the program in place and be able to re-apply to the Department of Labor for funding for next year,” Vaca said.
A city press release Wednesday said RichmondBUILD has maintained an 80 percent job placement rate for program graduates at an average starting wage of $18 per hour.
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    NEWS photo oneADVISORY                                                        

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            August 17, 2011

Press Inquiries: Sal Vaca, RichmondBUILD              Jon Weiner, Berkeley Lab
    510-307-8006                                             510-486-4014

Berkeley Lab Grants $5,000 to RichmondBUILD for Green Workforce Training.
Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom to Speak at Graduation.

Richmond, CA – RichmondBUILD has received national recognition as a “best practice” Green-Collar job training program for its innovative work in preparing residents for careers in the clean and renewable technology industries.  Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (LBNL) Community Relations outreach program has recognized this innovative work and will be awarding the City of Richmond’s RichmondBUILD Green Careers Academy a $5,000 contribution at the RichmondBUILD graduation on August 19, 2011.  The graduation will take place at the training facility located at 500 23rd Street, Richmond, CA.  Additional special guests include Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom.

“Berkeley Lab has made community relations and investment in education a top priority. RichmondBUILD is an innovative program that provides concrete skills and workforce training for workers who will be a crucial part of constructing the green economy,” says Jeff Miller
Director of Public Affairs for Berkeley Lab.

To date, RichmondBUILD has achieved an impressive 80% job placement rate for program graduates with many obtaining employment in green industry at an average starting wage of $18 an hour.  

The City of Richmond is widely recognized as a leader in providing training programs in the clean and renewable industries with the Richmond BUILD Green Careers Academy.  The strong partnership established by the City of Richmond with Contra Costa College, Solar Richmond, and Rising Sun Energy Center offers innovative training in Green Construction, Solar Installation, and Energy Efficiency.

For more information, please contact Mr. Sal Vaca, Employment and Training Director at (510) 307-8021 or svaca@richmondworks.org

WHEN: RichmondBUILD Graduation Ceremony on August 19, 2011 from 10 AM to 11:30 AM.  The graduation will take place at the training facility located at 500 23rd Street, Richmond, CA (corner of Barrett Avenue & 23rd Street)