(Union says training and hiring plan a success)…The presentation was made to the County Board of Supervisors Tuesday.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 569 made the presentation. In 2009 the Local, which represents Imperial and San Diego Counties, signed an agreement with the County, giving the IBEW preference in hiring on local renewable energy projects. In exchange, the County said the union should do everything possible to hire locals to work on the projects. Tuesday the Union said they had invested $1 million to open the Imperial Electrical Training Center. Since then, they have had long lines of people seeking the training. They told the Supervisors there have been 945 jobs available from the four Solar Projects constructed or under construction in the past few years. Of those jobs, 693 jobs were filled by locally trained residents, as compared to 125 from San Diego and 127 from other areas. The vast majority of those jobs, 268, have gone to Calexico residents. 168 have gone to El Centro residents, 67 to Brawley residents, 56 to Imperial residents, 54 to Heber residents, 24 to Holtville residents and 65 to other residents. The union said they had rented the Westside School to expand their training and accommodate more local employees for future projects. Supervisor Mike Kelley said the program was not just creating jobs for locals, it was creating careers.