Talking with IBEW About Jobs, Job Training, and Union Installed Solar

South Bay Clean Power is looking to create a Sustainable Work Force Policy that brings local jobs, job training, workforce development and community benefits to our effort.  And we’re looking to partner with our brothers and sisters in the key unions in order to bring union quality workmanship and standards to the many megawatts of renewable energy our Community Choice Power program will develop and generate.

We see a great future in partnering with unions like the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) 11.  They cover LA County and they would be strong and valuable partners in the development and implementation of South Bay Clean Power’s Community Choice Power initiative.

So South Bay Clean Power has made a concerted and sincere effort to reach out to IBEW 11, led by our labor committee, headed by Dency Nelson, a career long union member. We’ve also had great help from Ken Smokoska, a pioneer in bringing Community Choice Power programs together with union workers over the years.

We know from this exciting video that IBEW 11 released recently that they are as excited about the local labor opportunities as we are. They’ve been preparing for the work ahead for a while now –

So we were very excited to meet with IBEW last Thursday at their magnificent Electrical Training Institute in the City of Commerce to talk about our progress with South Bay Clean Power and to explore how we might work together.  We were lucky enough to meet with Kevin Norton, IBEW 11’s Assistant Business Manager and the man who oversees, among other things, the Training Institute.

We had a very productive meeting and discussion and afterwards, Kevin, graciously gave us a personal tour of the training institute.

He even took us up on the roof to see their massive solar array and to learn about their plans to expand it to make their entire complex net zero energy and a showcase for innovations in electrical technology.


Using a Solar Pathfinder tool to determine shading data for the PV array on the roof of the Electrical Training Institute


Just part of the solar array already on one of the Electrical Training Institute’s roofs. A lot more solar is coming to help generate more energy than the Institute uses.

With goals like Net Zero Energy Plus programs and training world class workers to do solar, EV chargers, high tech battery backup, micro grids and the wide range of energy efficient and energy smart upgrades and installations, we felt like South Bay Clean Power has a lot of common ground with the IBEW 11 and its future.  And we could see how vital a partner they would be in our Community Choice Power program.

We believe we are after exactly the same things and we were both grateful and hopeful to have spent the time with Kevin Norton and had the opportunity to have this initial meeting and learn so much from his perspective.  

We’re looking forward to our next meeting soon to expand the conversation and begin the formal process of having IBEW 11 consider joining our Working Group. 




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