On May 15, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa celebrated the launch of the L.A. Department of Water and Power’s Small Business Direct Install (SBDI) energy efficiency program at Supermercado Latino, a neighborhood market near Memorial Coliseum in South Los Angeles. The market received free retrofits that will save it 44 percent on utility bills while helping reduce L.A.’s reliance on coal power. SBDI is one of the key initiatives won by RePower LA, a coalition committed to saving Angelenos money on their energy bills, reducing dependency on dirty coal and creating local, career-path jobs for L.A.’s hardest-hit areas. RePower LA has also been instrumental in the creation of the Home Energy Improvement Program (HEIP) and the Utility Pre-Craft Training program (UPCT).
“The cleanest, cheapest energy is the energy you don’t use,” said Villaraigosa. “The Small Business Direct Install program helps reduce the carbon footprint of small businesses that would otherwise be unable to afford energy audits and retrofits.”
Through the SBDI,
At a time when there are so few programs that create good career-path jobs, it’s exciting to see one that is doing just that. RePower LA worked with IBEW Local 18 and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to support the creation of the Utility Pre-Craft Training (UPCT) program. Launched in 2011, this is a program that creates real jobs and has a real impact on the lives of real everyday people.
Recently, I was asked to attend a training session at a labor-management joint-training institute. I was excited to talk one-on-one with the men and women who have been accepted into this unique on-the-job training program that prepares workers for careers in the utility.
There were two things that struck me immediately when I met this group of trainees. First was the incredible diversity of the group: old and young,