INVITATION: Monterey Nonprofits Prepare Youth for Solar Future

18 May INVITATION: Monterey Nonprofits Prepare Youth for Solar Future

SALINAS, CA – On May 26th, The Offset Project (TOP) and Rancho Cielo Youth Campus will celebrate the launch of a cutting edge solar panel installation training program at Rancho Cielo Construction Academy.Press event and launch celebration will take place at on May 26 from 10:00 AM to NOON. Formal program and press event will take place from 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM, walking tours and interviews available 11:00 AM to NOON.

This groundbreaking, new program provides Rancho Cielo students a competitive advantage in the emerging clean energy workforce with hands-on experience and invaluable technical expertise. The program launch will also mark the completion of Rancho Cielo’s first of eight planned solar PV panel segments, installed by students in the program. This new education track is custom-tailored to maximize benefits to this unique student population. Anticipated results from the training program and solar installation include:

  • An estimated 75 trained students, ready to enter the clean energy economy
  • 80 kW total solar PV system offsetting Rancho Cielo’s entire energy use
  • Estimated annual clean energy production of 102,375 kW hours
  • Reduced monthly energy costs leaving project cash positive from day one
  • Freed up operational resources for other mission-critical school needs
  • Over solar PV system’s 25-year lifecycle, greenhouse gas emissions reduced by 2.9 million lbs of CO2
  • Serve as a replicable model for increased impact

“This program is a significant step forward in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and training local youth in a 21st century skill set, readying them for the clean energy economy,” said Kristin Cushman, TOP Executive Director. “All within the context of an amazingly effective partnership between local corporations, community funding through our Monterey Carbon Fund, and nonprofit service providers.”

Speakers and honored guests will attend the launch, joining TOP, Rancho Cielo, and their valued partners. Speakers include Representative Sam Farr and County Supervisor John Phillips. Guests include Rancho Cielo Construction Academy students, County Supervisor Jane Parker, and Salinas Mayor Joe Gunter.

A portion of this project was funded through The Offset Project’s Monterey Bay Carbon Fund and a generous contribution including a solar training system from First Solar. Project installation instruction is provided with support from Applied Solar Energy and John Muir Charter School, with financing resources facilitated by RC Cubed.


This cutting edge youth workforce program launch will be an opportunity for press to see how TOP, Rancho Cielo, and their valued partners are bringing opportunity to young adults entering the workforce on the Monterey Peninsula. In addition to the speakers listed above, students enrolled in the program will also attend to provide their views on the program thus far, and their hopes for the future. Refreshments will be provided to those in attendance.


May 26th | 10:00 am to 12:00 pm


Rancho Cielo Youth Campus | 


For more information, contact Kristin Cushman at [email protected].

PHOTO: Students with Rancho Cielo install Solar PV panels.

For more information or to request an interview, please contact Erin Fogg: (831) 515-6403, [email protected].
The Offset Project (TOP) was founded by Kristin Cushman in 2007. Eight years later, TOP has developed an unprecedented network of clients, volunteers and sustainability partners. The organization also runs California’s first local community carbon fund - the Monterey Bay Carbon Fund - and has become the Monterey Peninsula’s go-to for event and business sustainability certifications, workshops and trainings, and management of zero waste events. Learn more about TOP at

Rancho Cielo is a comprehensive learning and social services center for underserved youth in Monterey County. Established in 2000, we are a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Residing on 100 acres and encompassing two lakes, stables and a cultivated garden, Rancho Cielo is also a restored piece of Salinas Valley natural history. Combining the rich resources of the natural landscape with the creative partnerships forged between local community, educational and law enforcement agencies, we aim to enrich the lives of young people who walk through our gates. Learn more at

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