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Berkeley non-profit creates green job opportunities for teens


A couple of weeks ago, I looked at New York City’s efforts to provide disadvantaged youth with green job skills through its MillionTreesNYC initiative. On the other side of the country, a non-profit organization is also helping young people develop the skills they’ll need to take advantage of green job opportunities… by sending them out into their neighborhoods to help residents save energy, water, and money.

California Youth Energy Services is a program offered by Berkeley’s Rising Sun Energy Center. A summer employment initiative, CYES “hires youth age 15 to 22, and trains them to serve communities across the Bay Area with free ‘green house calls.” The participants conduct energy and water audits, replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs, and install water-saving shower heads and faucet aerators. They also educate clients in further steps they can take to keep their utility costs — and environmental footprint — under control.

Rising Sun Executive Director Jodi Pincus describes the program as a “triple win” in the video above: not only does CYES help local residents lower their environmental impact, but also provides economic opportunities for young people with limited resources, and helps with community development by getting people working together to reduce their resource use. The program participants learn about much more than energy and water savings, though: they also develop marketing and customer service skills, as well as a sense of positive contribution to their own communities.

Know more about Rising Sun, or other non-profits doing similar work? Let us know about it…

via San Anselmo-Fairfax Patch and @EarthAdapt

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