Micah Mitrosky is environmental organizer with IBEW 569 in San Diego.

Green Economy Transforming California’s Imperial Valley

Micah Mitrosky

Across the nation, renewable energy is under attack. From the “earth-is-flat” Tea Party to the shadowy, anti-union American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), climate deniers and corporate interests are determined to label the green economy a failure or pipe dream. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

This week, IBEW Local 569 is celebrating a major milestone putting people to work in California’s expanding clean energy sector right here in Imperial Valley. Imperial is a rural, desert community with a unique mix of solar, wind and baseload geothermal energy that can power thousands of California homes — and it also happens to be in the highest unemployment County in our state. 

IBEW 569’s Million-Dollar Clean Energy Bet on Imperial County Pays Off for Local Community

Micah Mitrosky

The clean energy economy is in full swing in Imperial County where renewable projects are not only putting local residents to work in the highest unemployment County in California, they are opening doors to new career opportunities in a community that has been hit hard by the Great Recession and struggled to sustain a local, skilled construction workforce.

In 2009, the members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 569 and their industry partners at the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) started to gear up for green jobs with the Grand Opening of the Imperial Electrical Training Center. This is the only state-certified electrical apprenticeship facility in Imperial County preparing local residents to construct renewable energy projects.

Love at First Spark: Electric Vehicles Sizzle with Clean, Green Solar Power at IBEW Local 569’s San Diego Training Center

was joined by State Senator Christine Kehoe, 39th District, business, environmental and veteran partners to unveil a new solar-powered electric vehicle charging station at the San Diego Electrical Training Center that is available to the local community for free public use.

As one of the national test cities chosen for the Department of Energy’s “EV Project,” San Diego will see thousands of charging units installed in homes and businesses over the next two years funded by grants from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This infusion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure is creating much-needed green jobs for IBEW 569 electricians at a time when California continues to struggle from the effects of the Great Recession.