by Rocio Zamora Arzola
- Homeboy Industries, an L.A.-based non-profit dedicated to helping reformed gang members turn their lives around, is training its clients for employment in green technology.
- Pairing up with the East Los Angeles Skills Center, Homeboy is funding the instruction in design, construction and installation of solar panels. Homeboy pays the $131 tuition for each student; it also pays participants an hourly wage of $8 (WSJ.com 2.17.09).
- Several graduates of the course are employed in established businesses like Phat Energy, a Los Angeles solar company, earning about $15 an hour; experienced installers can make upwards of $30 an hour.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- Jobs, not jails, is Homeboy Industries’ mantra. When given the opportunity, even hardcore gang members can go straight, making their communities safer.
- The recently enacted stimulus package greatly favors job creation in the renewable energy sector. That’s sure to attract workers displaced from other industries.