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Solar Helps Save the Hood

homeboysolarPV Solar Report - May 22, 2014
“It takes the hood to save the hood” states a large billboard near the corner of Van Ness and Market in San Francisco. The quote comes from Rudy Corpuz Jr. -- an ex-felon turned community activist -- who emphasizes that saving the hood requires love and understanding of the kids in the hood. The solution starts with good education.

Change scenes to an LA hood, where Homeboy Industries has been educating and helping high-risk, formerly gang-involved men and women change their lives since 1988. It is the largest gang intervention and rehabilitation program in the U.S., providing counseling, tattoo removal, and vocational education.

Homeboy Industries founder Father Gregory Boyle says, “When we select potential career tracks for our clients we need to be confident that they'll be able to earn a living for years to come so they won't try to return to a gang for survival. We included solar in our job training program because it's one of the fastest growing segments in the U.S. economy."

In fact, Homeboy Industries has plans to not only train solar installers but to go solar themselves, with the help of Everybody Solar, a San Francisco nonprofit.

The job opportunities for the newly certified solar installers look sunny, as President Obama pushes to increase solar energy production.

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