SOMAH staff tenant education training

To strengthen outreach to residents, the SOMAH Program partners with dozens of job training organizations (JTOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) that serve as trusted messengers across California. Their person-to-person connections and community leadership elevate SOMAH’s position and help deliver the benefits of solar to more people.
To showcase this essential on-the-ground work, we’re shining the spotlight on two key partners whose reach extends across the state: California Indian Manpower Consortium, Inc. (CIMC) and California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA).

Focus on JTO: California Indian Manpower Consortium, Inc.

CIMC was created in 1978 under state law as a nonprofit corporation for the purpose of “working for the social welfare, educational and economic advancement of its member tribes, groups, organizations and Indians and other Native Americans living in its service area.”

The primary purpose of the consortium is to offer training and employment opportunities for Native American communities. They also promote and provide programs that improve the educational attainment levels of Native American youth and adults and encourage economic self-sufficiency of tribal organizations.

CIMC started partnering with SOMAH in 2023 as a way to ensure that SOMAH projects on tribal lands were able to meet job training requirements to provide paid work opportunities for local hires and tribal members. CIMC also offers a vital connection to other JTOs that serve tribal communities throughout the state, and has an established, trusted reputation that strengthens SOMAH’s ability to support solar projects with diverse hiring needs.  

The consortium's partnership is even more critical as SOMAH increases its outreach in tribal lands. Following the passage of Senate Bill 355, solar project eligibility has been expanded to include properties owned by California Native American tribes without the need to meet affordability requirements. This expansion, combined with increased efforts to deepen relationships with tribal housing authorities and job training organizations, intends to lessen barriers to participation and deliver solar savings to renters living on tribal lands.

Focus on CBO: California Environmental Justice Alliance

CEJA is a statewide, community-led alliance that works to achieve environmental justice by advancing policy solutions. The alliance unites local EJ advocacy groups in communities most impacted by environmental hazards to build a future in which all California families are safe from toxic pollution. Their membership includes 35,000 Asian Pacific American, Latino and African American residents across the San Francisco Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley, Los Angeles, Inland Valley and San Diego/Tijuana region.

A co-sponsor of the legislation that created SOMAH in 2015, CEJA has been a driving force for equity since the earliest stages of program design and implementation. It has supported curriculum development and tenant education, educated their membership about the program and conducted direct outreach to affordable housing property owners, JTOs and government and industry stakeholders.

While most CBOs work in specific geographic regions of the state, CEJA’s partnership with SOMAH is unique because its statewide reach fills in regional gaps and extends the program’s marketing, education and outreach activities to areas without formal CBO partnerships. As experts in policy advocacy, CEJA also provides feedback to the SOMAH Program Administrator on barriers to participation to ensure that the program continues to evolve and support regulatory changes to meet EJ community needs.

“Clean local energy helps accelerate the retirement of polluting gas-fired power plants in EJ communities,” said Tyler Valdez, CEJA energy justice manager. “SOMAH addresses years of inequities by expanding solar access to renters who have been historically locked out of the clean energy transition. We turn to SOMAH as a model for how community voices should be centered in California’s energy programs and policies.”

Want to learn more about SOMAH partnerships?

Visit our Community-Based Organizations and Job Training Organizations webpages.

Request a Meeting

Contact Us