California Conservation Corps

 Corpsmember works on wiring project.
Corpsmember works on wiring project.

The California Conservation Corps (CCC) is a state agency that offers paid training and scholarships to local 18-25 year old young adults from underserved neighborhoods who are interested in natural resource and emergency response careers. Recently, CCC partnered with SMUD to build a state-of-the-art facility that expands their workforce development programs.

The new CCC Energy Lab, which opened in March 2021, features hands-on, interactive training stations designed to prepare Corpsmembers for future work in the environmental and energy efficiency industries. Through this training, they gain skills and experience that lead to meaningful careers in firefighting, electric utility work and forestry. The Energy Lab also has room to expand training into electric vehicle charger installation, HVAC repair and solar installation.

Through their foundation, the CCC received a $75,000 SMUD Shine Award, plus another $25,000 from SMUD’s Sustainable Communities Program, to build their lab and enhance their workforce development.

Corpsmembers practice conduit bending.

“The partnership with SMUD and the CCC Foundation is creating the best and most efficient learning environment imaginable,” said CCC Director Bruce Saito. “This lab will help Corpsmembers find job and career pathways, so that they can go on to bigger and better things.”

From SMUD’s perspective, the lab will train Corpsmembers to help utility customers reduce energy use in the short term, and in the long term develop future leaders and thinkers.

“There’s so much talent in Sacramento and we need places like the CCC Energy Lab, where that talent can be cultivated” said Jose Bodipo-Memba, director of SMUD Sustainable Communities. “The future looks really bright.”

This partnership meets the goals of our Sustainable Communities Program by providing workforce development opportunities in local underserved neighborhoods for careers in energy efficiency and environmentally focused industries.