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Nonprofit trains ex-offenders for jobs.

Homeboy Industries, a Los Angeles nonprofit that helps people with criminal pasts find employment, is joining forces with the East Los Angeles Skills Center to offer solar panel installation instruction to parolees, according to The Wall Street Journal. The East Los Angeles Skills Center is a public vocational school that offers a hands-on program to teach the design, construction and installation of solar panels. It created the course for Homeboy, who pays the $131 tuition for each student, plus an hourly wage of $8. The class meets for two months, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and it currently has a months-long waiting list.

After students pass the class, they can take an exam that qualifies them to install solar panels nationwide. Several graduates are already working in the field, earning about $15 an hour. Phat Energy, a Los Angeles solar company, has hired Homeboy graduates, and The Los Angeles Unified School District plans to start hiring graduates of the program to install 50 megawatts of solar power on its campuses. According to Gabriel Bork, a vice president at Golden State Power, a solar-panel installation company, "We expect to hire out of the program as quickly as they can get them to us. These guys are much better trained than many others I have hired."

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Title Annotation:News Briefs; Homeboy Industries
Author:Gormsen, Lia
Publication:Corrections Today
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2009
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