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Large-Scale Solar Project Creating Quality Jobs, New Skilled Career Pathways for Imperial County Residents

CALEXICO, CA – The Imperial Solar Energy Center South (C-Solar South) project has hit a major hiring milestone. As a result of a local hire labor agreement between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 569 and the project developer, 73% of the electrical workforce dispatched to the project is from Imperial County with 93% of the local hires being new apprentices and trainees.

IBEW Local 569 Business Manager Johnny Simpson comments, “Thanks to the pipeline of clean energy projects in Imperial County with IBEW local hire agreements, we are putting local people to work, creating good, middle-class green careers and training the next generation of skilled, state-certified electricians in the community. With 28.5 percent unemployment, the highest in the state, nobody needs these projects more than Imperial County. ”

Rodolfo Valdez, a new IBEW 569 Apprentice from Calexico who is working on the project comments, “I’m most excited about the apprenticeship because it’s a new career. I appreciate the opportunity the IBEW gave me to be a member and to be productive in the community.”

El Centro resident Rogelio Ruiz, the father of three young children, was unemployed for over a year prior to joining IBEW Local 569’s apprenticeship program and going to work at C-Solar South. He notes, “I have been very impressed with my training and am happy to be able to work and feed my family. I like that the project is so close to home so I can enjoy quality time with my family after work.”

A graduate of El Centro high school, new IBEW 569 Apprentice Pedro Bernal was born and raised in Imperial County. “Before I joined the apprenticeship, I was working at a retail home improvement store. Now, I am making good money at C-Solar South and have a sense of accomplishment about my work. I have a little girl and another on the way and am happy to know I am building a clean energy project so the earth will still be a good place for my kids and their kids.”

Founded in 1891, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) represents approximately 725,000 members working in a variety of fields including utilities, construction, telecommunications, broadcasting, manufacturing, railroads and government.  IBEW Local 569 represents more than 2,500 members in San Diego and Imperial Counties.