For Immediate ReleaseDecember 04, 2023
New Marin program assisting young people from underserved areas
San Rafael, CA – Job growth is strong in the “green” building sector, and it’s expected to keep growing. This fall, a new Marin County program is helping develop the next-generation workforce by teaching construction trades to young people.
The County of Marin has collaborated with the nonprofit LIME Foundation to offer the NextGen Trades Academy. Young people aged 18 to 24 are taking free classes to pave the way toward careers in sustainability-minded businesses. The participants are students – many lined up through the Marin County Office of Education and local high school construction training programs – who may not have the finances or opportunity to attend college.
Academy participants are being trained and mentored toward paid apprenticeships and full employment in the construction trades, which simultaneously boosts the workforce pool available to local contractors. Through online and in-person classes, the students are offered 18 months of career counseling and will be equipped to earn industry safety certifications that are often required to get hired for well-paid positions. Although the first cohort is full, the collaborating agencies will assess the program’s success and consider offering it again.
Academy sponsors include the County of Marin, MCE, the Transportation Authority of Marin, the green-minded MarinCAN initiative, and the Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN). The County government’s project manager is the Community Development Agency’s Sustainability Division.
The Santa Rosa-based LIME Foundation provides educational resources, mentorship, and career exploration to develop sustainable empowerment for people from diverse communities. In addition to the construction trades, it offers life-changing skills in technology, health, music, and performing arts.
“The Nextgen Trades Academy provides a pathway to success for at-risk youth who are unable to attend college,” said Letitia Hanke, Founder and Executive Director of the LIME Foundation. “I was one of those at-risk youth in college attempting to figure out my career when I was introduced to roofing as an option. Twenty-seven years later, as the CEO of my own roofing company, I recognize the importance of creating a pathway for our youth and that’s why the LIME Foundation was created.”
Dana Armanino, the County’s Sustainability Program Manager, said her division was enthusiastic about the program because of its alignment with top Board of Supervisors focus areas known as the “Four E’s”: Equity, Education, Economy, and Environment.
“The County of Marin is excited to support this excellent training opportunity for Marin youths,” Armanino said. “As we encourage more residents to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and shift from fossil gas appliances to high-efficiency electric units, it is important to have a strong workforce to support the increased demand. The NextGen Trades Academy is an excellent opportunity for local youth to explore jobs in this growing sector.”
The County’s Sustainability Team works to support healthy, safe, and sustainable communities while preserving Marin’s environmental heritage. Stay connected with the Sustainability Team via on Facebook, Instagram, and X (Twitter), the event webpage for workshops and community events and the quarterly newsletter. Contact the office via email with questions on our programs or to request more information.
Dana ArmaninoPlanning Manager, Sustainability TeamCommunity Development Agency
3501 Civic Center DriveSuite 308San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-3292Email: Dana ArmaninoCDA Sustainability website