California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley

Clean Energy in the San Joaquin Valley: where are the jobs?

This event has been postponed to December 14th. Same time, same place.  For more information contact Courtney Kalashian @ (877) 748-0841 or

I may have mentioned in passing our project working with community colleges in the San Joaquin Valley--heck, even Huffington Post is talking about it--but I've not taken the time to really explain what we're doing and why we're doing it. Well, my apologies and please, allow me to tell you a bit about this thing we like to call "C6".

In May 2012 the SJVCEO began a partnership with the Central California Community Colleges Committed to Change (C6) consortium under a Department of Labor grant to redesign how community college students are trained to enter the clean energy workforce.  Our role is to convene educators with industry leaders to jointly design skills training based on real life needs. 

Our purpose is to serve as a convener of employers, industry experts and educators to look at Alternative/Clean Energy (ACE) education in a holistic manner. For the past six months we have been meeting with employers and asking what they want in their future employees.  We've meet with educators and asked what they're doing, and how they'd like to change it.  We have researched existing sources of curriculum, then taken it back to the employers and educators and asked how can we make this more applicable for students in Central California. 

But that wasn't enough. 

Maureen, Dee and I found ourselves asking, 'where are all these newly trained students going to go?' and we didn't have a concrete answer and with that a workshop was born! (PS--you're invited!)

Our one-day workshop will serve as a true “work” shop in which we will attempt to geographically determine where the jobs are now, where projects are planned, and what the actual employment opportunities are in our eight county region.  At the end of the day we want to have enough data to create an online, interactive GIS based map that represents what, where and when clean energy jobs are available in the San Joaquin Valley, what training and certifications are needed at each site, and where training is available. 

The ideal attendee for the event is a person familiar with the business plans of you organization or involved in planning and permitting for clean energy projects—where contracts will be, number of jobs, length of contract, training and certification needed.  We want to take a broad view  on clean energy: efficiency, solar, wind, water, biofuels, weatherization, green building, and more! Please mark your calendars and join us:

Thursday, November 15, 2012
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Small Business Development Center Regional Network in partnership with the US Small Business Administration
550 East Shaw Avenue, Suite 100
Fresno, CA  93710-7702

Please RSVP to and please forward this to those you think would benefit from participating.

If you have questions or would like more information on this event please contact Courtney Kalashian, (877) 748-0841 or  

photo credit: SenatorMarkUdall via photopin cc

Partnership's Efforts Help Cut Energy Use In Valley

The San Joaquin Valley isn't the hottest place in California, but it's close. The I-think-I'm-going-to-spontaneously combust summer temperatures often reach triple digits. As a result, the region's power bills and energy consumption are often among the highest in the state.

But, an interesting thing has happened since the nonprofit San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization, which developed out of the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, was formed in 2007. Electricity use in the Valley dropped 11 percent between 2007 and 2009, which contrasted with a 4.5 percent dip statewide, according to the Partnership's 2010-11 report.

Energy efficiency is a big part of SJVCEO's mission. It partners with local governments and utilities to help implement programs designed to slash energy consumption, thus saving residents and local government money in this era of austerity and tight budgets. The programs also lead to smaller carbon footprints at a time when environmental issues are rising to the fore.

The SJVCEO's Valley Innovative Energy Watch (VIEW) partnership with Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company and eight local governments in the South Valley has led to substantial energy savings in those communities. The projected savings from this partnership is expected to exceed 4 million kWh.

The organization also is helping implement the Clean Energy Partnership, an ambitious program that also includes the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, two Investor Owned Utilities, and 36 local governments. The goal is to replace inefficient equipment in publicly-owned buildings from Stanislaus to Kern counties.

In addition, SJVCEO promotes and conducts outreach for the City of Fresno's Home Energy Tune-Up program, which is available to residents of Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties. The initiative is funded by a federal grant in collaboration with the state's Energy Upgrade California Program, and enables property owners to replace lighting, increase insulation or make other improvements that will significantly lower their power bills.

The cost of the upgrades is usually recouped in a few years through energy savings. The great thing is that those savings continue, which gives those families more money to invest or use for other purposes. It also helps offset any utility rate increases.

The SJVCEO expects energy usage to continue to decline as the existing programs mature and as more initiatives come on line. The organization will soon begin a grant-funded effort to help cities "benchmark" energy consumption and prepare energy action plans.

Energy efficiency has been described as the "low-hanging fruit" of the clean-energy movement, so it makes sense for an organization based in one of the state's most energy-intensive areas to start picking it.