The Green Construction Training (GCT) project provides an intensive 400-hour construction training bootcamp, providing pathways out of poverty for Bay Area residents who are most in need. The ETC’s core program is a 12-week training that integrates hard skills training in green construction and related trades with life skills training, academics, intensive case management, wraparound services, career coaching, and job placement and retention services. Students graduate with basic skills in ten trades and earn five industry-recognized certifications, enabling graduates to secure jobs at 1 to 3 levels above entry-level pay grades.

We use the nationally-accredited “Roots of Success” environmental justice curriculum developed specifically to prepare disadvantaged individuals and those who are exiting the criminal justice system for careers in the green economy. This curriculum is integrated with the hard skills construction training, which teaches green building practices, construction math and basic geometry, building from site to framing, finish carpentry from layout to fabrication and installation, solar PV installation, and specific trade skills including light electrical and plumbing. Hands-on skills are developed in the GCT workshop by deconstructing and rebuilding two 10’ by 10’ buildings complete with electrical and solar panels.

A cornerstone of the GCT is its safe, supportive community. Using practices developed through evidence-based research, we create an effective learning environment led by front-line staff with similar socioeconomic backgrounds as students. Having overcome their own barriers including homelessness, substance abuse and incarceration, staff serve as powerful role models.

Students learn effective communication, teamwork, anger management, problem solving, interviewing, and other life skills.

With a long history in workforce development, the ETC has built a broad employer network and strong local trade unions. These relationships provide direct access to jobs as well as the information needed to forecast demand and identify changes in skill needs and employment opportunities as labor markets fluctuate.