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Youth Training for Green Jobs

by Janna B.

Hello. My name is Janna and I am the Founder and CEO of Solano Green Alliance. I am an Employment Resource Specialist by trade and have worked helping the poor since 1996. Along with my disabled husband, I Founded Solano Green Alliance to build more Pathways out of Poverty for Women, People of Color and Low Income People.

We began our efforts January 22, 2009 in Vallejo, California, which is a bankrupt City in Solano County. We based our effort on Van Jones' concepts from his book, "The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems."

This project has been a time consuming task which has required countless hours. Our motto is "Be the Change, Go Green!" Following guidance from Green For All, out of Oakland, California, we held Solution Salons beginning in March 2009. It started with just two people meeting in our backyard and then we took this to 13,000 people at the Filipino Festival prior to a Giants game in San Francisco California on April 21, 2009.

At these salons we discussed issues, focused on solutions, taught green concepts along the way. Many great and wonderful ideas came out of these discussions. Building with other community organizations, businesses, the City Council, Solano County, faith-based groups and non-profits, WIA and colleges, I am happy to report that we are helping to develop youth training programs, which empower youth and finish schools and get jobs. Solano Community College also plans to start a Green Center, to teach green job practices, which will lead to more jobs with livable wages.

We are also working to develop community gardens. On July 11,2009 our volunteer group worked to finish the installation of an environmental educational garden for children on the McIntyre Ranch, a hidden, scenic, and serene little gem of a horse ranch located in Vallejo. Local School children will be able to come to visit this ranch and garden, and see how food is grown and enjoy the countryside, and the animals. They have goats, horses, jackrabbits, quails, frogs, garter snakes and we even saw a coyote on a far hill side. The property is 23 acres. The Master Plan of that project is to have day camps for children. Our group is also launching more community gardens to grow food locally.

We will also be opening green businesses. The Global Center for Success, a non profit organization that helps the homeless, is working with The Asera Group, to train people to build solar fields for the energy grid.

Many great things are happening here!

Respectfully,

Janna

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