LOS ANGELES — If your electric vehicle is running low on battery, a SparkCharge portable EV charger, and its technician Michael Washington, will come save your day.
“We provide a personal supercharge. We can come to your home, to your office, wherever you’re located. We will provide you with 50 miles of range,” Washington said.
Washington and SparkCharge both got their starts at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator.
Washington is a fellow of LACI’s green jobs program, and SparkCharge is one of their startups that’s now employing folks like him in the clean tech sector.
“This is the roadie, this is the charger head connector,” Washington said while pointing to his equipment.
Like millions of Americans who left their jobs in “The Great Resignation,” the pandemic was the catalyst for Washington to find a new career path as an EV technician, after his job as a frontline health care worker took its toll.
“I took care of a lot of people who were sick, and it was kind of rough,” Washington said.
LACI’s workforce programs provide the technical skills necessary to succeed in the green economy, which LA County expects to grow to 600,000 jobs by 2050, everything from working on charging infrastructure to modernization of the grid.
So far, the program has served 165 people, and LACI’s Senior Director of Workforce Development Daniel Ferguson said 70% have either gotten jobs or continue their education.
“We want to make sure that we’re able to provide a talent pipeline, not only for our startups but also organizations within our ecosystem,” Ferguson said.
And that talent pipeline also means training underrepresented groups, and so far, 80% of their cohorts represent the Black, Indigenous, and people of color community, or BIPOC for short.
Washington landed the job at SparkCharge once he finished training, and now has the skills that clean tech companies need to help fight climate change.
“There are companies that are starting up, with good benefits, good pay, and you can be part of a company that reduces the carbon footprint, which is important,” Washington said.
To find out more information on our programs and opportunities to apply for training, click here.