VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) --Ag workers in the South Valley are moving to a new kind of farm.
"We're specifically recruiting for dislocated ag workers," said Terri Cooper, Farm Worker Division for Proteus.
Recruitment events were held at two of the three campuses of Proteus' career and technical education training division. The event was focused on those interested in getting out of seasonal work and into a year round trade. One of the most marketable-- energy efficiency.
"Farm workers typically work season to season and unfortunately, are some of the hardest-working people in the world, but they stay in a cycle of poverty," said Cooper.
Those interested were given their first look at the 10-week program that includes solar and construction components.
"They're going to go from learning things like microinverters, how to install our modules on residential rooftops, also to the commercial ground mount systems. And that sets them up for various employment opportunities throughout the Valley," said Noah Arzola, Employment Service Representative.
In the Central Valley, the employment landscape for solar and construction is looking bright. The green sector has increased an average of 13-percent each year.
Between all three campuses, each session accommodates more than 80 students.
The energy efficiency and renewable energy technician training program has been around for 15 years. Now, because of the booming business, they have a 99-percent graduation rate with 75-percent job placement.
"Now it's really taken off. There's many employers coming into our local Valley here, even the Visalia-Tulare area that connects our students and graduates to those employers for the long term employment," said Arzola.