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Practices with Promise Workforce Outcomes eShowcase

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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Larry McLaughlin, ATRE

Addressing workforce needs of the region’s renewable energy industry.

  • Type of Practice: Industry Engagement
  • Type(s) of Users Served: Apprenticeship, Associate Degree Students, Counselors/Supporting Staff to Student, External Certification Seekers, Faculty/Teachers, First-time Students, Higher Unit Certificate Students, Lifelong Learning Students, Pre-Apprenticeship, Returning Students, Skills-Builders Students, Transfer Students
  • Sector(s): Advanced Transportation & Renewable Energy
  • Momentum Point(s) & Leading Indicators : MP 33, LI 1, LI 2, LI 3 (click here for description)
  • Regions Involved: Inland Empire/Desert
  • Colleges Involved: College of the Desert, Palo Verde College

The Challenge

To provide energy skill set training necessary for the underemployed and unemployed in the region, so they could take advantage of the new jobs in the growing Green Economy.

The Solution

The DSN, Larry McLaughlin, from the Inland Empire/Desert Region, worked with the local WIB in creating “Green Pathways = Green Paydays” a collaboration between Riverside Workforce Development, College of the Desert, and the regional chapter of GRID Alternatives that has proven very effective in addressing workforce needs of the region’s renewable energy industry. The DSN created the renewable energy training services for the program in collaboration with its author, Workforce Development’s Regional Director Wendy Frederick


With the support of a talented outreach and placement staff, the partnership has focused on getting those who are unemployed back to work in our growing green economy. Workforce training conducted under the Green Pathways = Green Paydays program has included solar energy, residential energy rating, and advanced lighting controls. Each has yielded important industry credentials that help participants compete more effectively in the regional job market.

The Data

Our under-employed & unemployed participants of the training received over 300 offers of employment. The program has also helped usher in a new age of renewable energy for California by working with contractors and labor unions to place skilled workers in some of the world’s largest solar projects being constructed in Riverside County. The success of Green Pathways = Green Paydays was recently recognized as a 2015 semifinalist for the Innovation in American Government Award by the Harvard/Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.

Supporting Information

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Common Metrics

Leading Indicators

LI 1 Alignment of skillsets within a program (or set of courses) to a particular occupation and the needs of the labor market
LI 2 Regionalization of stackable certificates aligned with a particular occupation ladder
LI 3 Alignment of a certificate with state-, industry-, nationally-, and/or employer- recognized certification
LI 4 Creation of a credit certificate from non-credit certificate
LI 5 Curriculum articulation along a career or multi-career educational pathway
LI 6 Updating the skills of faculty, teachers, counselors, and/or “supporting staff to student” to reflect labor market needs
LI 7 Integration of small business creation and/or exporting modules into for-credit curriculum in other disciplines

Momentum Points

Middle School Cluster
MP 1Completed an individual career and skills awareness workshop in middle school that included a normed assessment process and was in a Doing What Matters priority or emerging sector
Transition from Middle School to High School
MP 2Completed a bridge program between middle school and high school and revised student career/education plan
MP 3Completed a student orientation and assessment program while in middle school or high school
High School Cluster
MP 4Completed one course in high school within a CTE pathway
MP 5Completed two or more courses in high school within a CTE pathway
MP 6Completed a CTE articulated course
MP 6aSuccessfully completed a CTE dual enrollment course or credit by exam, with receipt of transcripted credits
MP 7Completed a program in high school within a CTE pathway
Transition from High School to College Cluster
MP 8Completed a bridge program between high school and college in a CTE pathway
MP 9Completed college orientation and assessment as a first-time community college student who entered a community college CTE pathway
MP 10Transitioned from a high school CTE pathway to a similar community college CTE pathway
MP 11Transferred from a high school CTE pathway to a similar CSU, UC or private/independent university CTE pathway
MP 12Completed a counselor-approved college education plan, for first-time community college students who enter a CTE pathway
MP 13During high school, participated in an internship, work-based learning, mentoring, or job shadowing program in a CTE pathway
MP 14Percentage of community college students, who participated in a high school CTE pathway, whose first math or English course was below transfer-level
Community College Cluster
MP 15Completed two courses in the same CTE pathway
MP 16Retention rate between Fall and Spring within a CTE pathway
MP 17Completed a non-CCCCO-approved certificate within a CTE pathway
MP 18Completed a CCCCO-approved certificate within a CTE pathway
General Education and Transfer Progress Cluster
MP 19Completed a work readiness soft skills training program (either stand-alone or embedded) within a CTE pathway
MP 20Completed college level English and/or math, for students in a CTE pathway
MP 21Completed the CSU-GE or IGETC transfer track/certificate for students in a CTE pathway
MP 22Completed requirements in a CTE pathway, but did not receive a certificate or a degree
MP 23Completed an associate degree in a CTE major
MP 24Completed an associate degree in a major different from student’s college CTE pathway
MP 25Transferred from community college to a four-year university in the same CTE pathway
MP 26Transferred from community college to a four-year university in a major different from their CTE pathway
Community College Transition To Workforce Cluster
MP 27Participated in a college internship or workplace learning program within a CTE pathway
MP 28Attained a job placement in the same or similar field of study as CTE pathway
MP 29Acquired an industry-recognized, third-party credential
Workforce Progress Cluster
MP 30Attained a wage gain in a career in the same or similar CTE pathway
MP 31Attained wages equal to or greater than the median regional wage for that CTE pathway
MP 32Attained wages greater than the regional standard-of-living wage
MP 33Participated in incumbent worker training or contract education in a CTE pathway (for example training for layoff aversion, meeting heightened occupational credentialing requirement, transitioning employees whose occupations are being eliminated, or up-skilling existing employees)
MP 34Exception


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