Where Are They Now?

Learn about trainee experiences securing jobs in residential construction.

Since 2018, Earth Advantage has partnered with workforce and community organizations to deliver workforce development training to 850+ participants. These trainings, delivered with support from the Portland Clean Energy Fund and Energy Trust of Oregon, are intended to build awareness and interest in the green residential sector and bring younger, more diverse workers into the industry.
Highlighted below are trainees who have gone on to start successful careers in residential construction after completing Earth Advantage workforce training, and we hope their stories will inspire other trainees to consider careers in this field.
Interested in starting your own career in residential construction?
Check out our Career Pathways and Job Board for more information and to see current opportunities. 


Jennifer Sanchez

After working with her dad and uncles for years, Jennifer Sanchez decided to seek support from Portland YouthBuilders to get certified and ready for work. A big part of Jennifer’s decision to go into the trades was due to her uncles’ advice and mentorship that expanded her knowledge about HVAC. When James Metoyer of EnerCity Collaborative taught at PYB and offered his support, it was a great reminder that her chosen career path would make a difference. “I consistently reference key concepts of healthy homes and air flow in my work. It makes a difference to have support from my family and support from someone like James and Earth Advantage to offer resources for the HVAC industry,” Jennifer said.


Abasi Umoh

“There are so many opportunities out there in this space. I’m really interested in pursuing work in Energy Auditing. I feel like this path could open some really awesome doors in the future, and understanding all of the building science that comes along with that role is really interesting."


Jim Thompson

"When I discovered pre-apprenticeship programs here in Portland, I recognized the real effort these programs were making to diversify the industry. The creation of job opportunities for marginalized peoples in the industry will play a vital role in an effort to pull individuals and families out of poverty and give everyone a fighting chance to build a sustainable future."


Abdona Sanchez

After caregiving for a long time, Abdona Sanchez decided that she wanted to make a career out of HVAC, which is a trade that runs in her family. Outside of working for her dad, Abdona didn’t have the resources to get certified and ready for work, and found support through Portland YouthBuilders. It was here that she took Earth Advantage's Green Workforce training highlighting the importance of HVAC and since graduating from PYB, Abdona now works with PeopleReady trades as an HVAC tradeswoman.


Maximus Rivera-Solorio

Max Rivera-Solario was a student at Portland YouthBuilders who found his path during the Introduction to Green Construction training offered by Earth Advantage & EnerCity Collaborative. Max was motivated to take advantage of mentorship support to learn everything he could about green building, and was then hired as a Technical Field Consultant at Earth Advantage shortly after graduation. Since then, Max has developed many new skills as a third-party verifier supporting new construction builders pursuing green building certification. “I’ve learned a lot of building science,” says Max. "But the most educational part of my role has been improving my communication and business skills."


Dominick Moody

Dominick Moody graduated from Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC) to work on commercial projects downtown. However, he wanted to gain more skills in energy efficiency and residential construction. In the process of continuing his education at Portland Community College, Dominick received a notice about the Earth Advantage Fall Internship. After completing his internship, Dominick now works as the Construction Training Coordinator for the Portland Business Development Group (PBDG).