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HERO Newsletter- Spotlight on Founder Youness Scally

younJanuary 27, 2012

Volume 3 of the HERO Newsletter highlights Youness Scally, Executive Director of Everybody Solar.  As a student of the Effective Green Business Marketing course at Ohlone College, Youness gained insight into Green Business management and met new colleagues and other eco-entrepreneurs in the San Francisco Bay Area.

View the HERO Newsletter


This Newsletter provides current and important Home Performance industry news and analysis in connection with the Home Energy Retrofit Occupations (HERO) Program for industry professionals, for those looking to transfer into the Home Performance industry, and for individuals who would like to advance their skill set in this arena.

Volume 3: January 2012

Industry News and Updates

Home Performance Industry Applauds New Energy Efficiency Tax Credit Legislation

The Cut Energy Bills at Home Act,  introduced by Senators Snowe (R-Maine), Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Feinstein (D-Calif.) in November, 2011, if passed, would create the nation’s first performance-based energy efficiency tax credit for home retrofits. For the first time, homeowners would be rewarded with a federal tax credit for projects that achieve a percentage reduction in energy use, rather than for installing a certain piece of equipment. The legislation would provide tax credits of $2000-$5,000 for qualified residential energy efficiency retrofits that save 20-50% respectively, up to 30% of the cost of the retrofit.

National Solar Jobs Consensus 2011: A Review Of The U.S. Solar Workforce

Results from the latest industry research show that the solar industry has experienced an overall growth rate of 6.8% over the past year, nearly 10 times higher than the national average employment growth rate of 0.7%. Solar job growth over the next 12 months is anticipated to be almost 24%, representing approximately 24,000 additional new jobs. The research findings illustrate a potential trend toward specialization. More firms appear to be contracting out portions of their solar work, including administrative, on-site installation, and other parts of the installation process. Employers see value in credentials, but for installers, on-the-job apprenticeship programs or other training that includes experience-based learning are the most desirable pathways to employment, but these programs take significant time to complete.
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$300,000 in Federal Grants for SETA's Clean Energy On-The-Job Training Program

The Green On-Job-Training program, funded by the California Energy Commission and the Employment Development Department, will reimburse employers 50-70% of the wages paid to trainees for 3-6 months of training.  The program will put unemployed people back to work while learning skills that are needed for the jobs of the future. Energy Commissioner Karen Douglas explains that “under the Energy Upgrade California Program, successful partners, such as SETA and small business leader Beutler, have trained and employed hundreds of workers in the Sacramento area while reducing homeowners energy bills."

Additional Recent Industry Links

Upcoming HERO Courses

February 7 – March 8
Tuesday/Thursday 4-7pm
Effective Green Business Marketing Provides knowledge & tools to market & acquire customers for green businesses. Skyline College
March 13 –
April 19
Solar Sales & Professional Development Provides skills & knowledge to sell solar energy systems & solutions. Ohlone College
May 2012
Energy Efficiency Opportunities for Realtors & Mortgage Professionals Home energy efficiency financing options & how to leverage Energy Upgrade CA rebate program. Ohlone College
June 2012
Building Performance Assessment/Sales Qualify to conduct/sell home energy assessments. Ohlone College

For questions and to start the WIA application process, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What is HERO?

The HERO program is funded through a Department of Labor grant and aims to fulfill the need for training a new workforce in the home performance industry, improve both local and regional economic development, and sustain and grow current and future program activities with its project partners.

Host San Mateo County Workforce Investment Board, in partnership with Cañada CollegeOhlone CollegeSkyline College and the Alameda County Workforce Investment Board, will provide training and career pathways in selected home performance careers. Other HERO partners include the Home Performance Resource CenterStrategic Energy Innovations and Swords to Plowshares.

Student Spotlight

HERO graduate Youness Scally is the Founder and Executive Director of Everybody Solar, a newly launched non-profit organization with the mission of providing local charities with free solar power to help reduce their energy costs and redirect their limited resources towards the communities they serve.  By reducing electricity costs, they help non-profits maximize their impact on their direct cause.  

To ensure he was equipped with the knowledge, tools and resources to market and brand his new business venture, Youness took advantage of training offered through the HERO grant program and enrolled in the Effective Green Business Marketing class hosted by Ohlone College in Newark.

“The class taught the principles of how to effectively market any business, but was focused on applying these principles to "Green" businesses, which provided a great perspective for Everybody Solar.  It showed me the importance of a marketing plan, and how to create one that serves as a reliable tool for our organization."  

"The instructor and the many outstanding guest speakers provided me with a strong understanding of how to identify, narrow in on, and reach our target audience, how to use CRM to better manage my non-profit contacts and leads, the key elements of an effective website, and the importance of creating and practicing my elevator pitch for Everybody Solar."  

"I came away from this class with new friends and colleagues in the green business field and a number of new tools, many of which I used towards the launch of our website everybodysolar.org, social media campaigns, press outreach, and other promotional marketing.  I'm sure I will continue to use the skills I learned to help our business grow in the future.” 

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