L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success

Michael at his Grid Alternatives Solar Panel Training program graduation
After his release from 14 years of incarceration, Michael didn’t have access to reentry information or the resources needed to secure a permanent job or maintain stable housing. However, with the assistance of LA:RISE and the Vernon Central WorkSource Center (WSC), he enrolled in job placement with GRID Alternatives Greater LA, a program that provides job trainees with hands-on experience installing solar electric systems as well as help people find employment in the green-tech industry.

“I was excited to start the program to better my life, and knowing I had the support as well.”

During Michael’s solar panel job training, he gained new skill sets that opened more employment opportunities for him and found pride in seeing his customers happy with his solar installs. For his future, Michael wants to be THAT success story to young people who are facing similar barriers and help guide them to the right path.

“Don't ever give up. Keep pushing. Ask questions you need to ask to find your answers,” Michael said.

Michael successfully completed and graduated from solar panel training. He is currently working for SONOCO, a papermill company where he cleans pits and helps with paper winding.

EWDD is a leadership team partner of LA:RISE, an innovative, collaborative partnership that unites the City and County of Los Angeles’ Workforce Development System with non-profit social enterprises and for-profit employers to help people with high barriers to employment get good jobs and stay employed.

The City’s WorkSource Centers and LA:RISE prioritize individuals recently released from prison, the unsheltered or those at risk of homelessness, and youth ages 18-24 who are neither in school nor employed. After working in a transitional job at a social enterprise, leveraging WorkSource Center training and services, LA:RISE participants are placed in permanent jobs within the private or the public sector.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from January 2024. Read this issue and more.