MARTINEZ, Calif. – Rising Sun, a small area nonprofit organization, is giving young people a chance for a summer employment that helps residents lower their utility bills and help the environment, Lindsey Roark, spokesperson, said.
“Young people can do any number of things during the summer, but the youth that comprise Rising Sun’s California Youth Energy Specialist (CYES) team chose to serve their communities,” Roark said through a statement issued by the organization.
For six weeks each summer, Martinez youth visit residents and help them combat climate change “one light bulb at a time,” Roark said through the statement.
They do this by providing no-cost energy and water conservation services in their “Green House Calls,” Roark said. The visits help residents reduce both power and water utility bills.
At the same time, the youth earn a paycheck and take part in weekly professional development workshops that teach them resume building, interview skills and other training they will need in future careers.
For more than half of the participants, working as an energy specialist is their first job, and 91 percent say it is their first “green” job, dealing with substantiality and environmental improvements.
“Rising Sun believes that one of the best ways to stimulate the economy is through training programs that help people to get the experience they need to join the workforce,” the statement said.
It cited research that said youth who experience unemployment are likely to earn 20 percent less throughout their lives.
“CYES is truly a win-win-win situation: A win for the customer who saves money, a win for the youth who get valuable work experience and a win for the environment,” Roark said through the statement.
The CYES program, which is supported by the city of Martinez, trash and recycling contractor Republic Services and Andeavor Refinery, is in its fifth summer in Martinez, and Rising Sun said it eventually may reach as many as 1,000 homes throughout the city. The household that is the thousandth client will receive a $100 gift card.
Green House Calls are available by appointment through Aug. 9 by calling 510-665-1501 Extension 300 or by visiting the website www.risingsunenergy.org.