The Rising Sun Energy Center in Berkeley, CA, is helping low-income adults, including many women, learn how to build green homes—and rebuild their lives.

“You know we’re up there climbing up on that scaffolding, we’re waterproofing, putting in windows,” trainee Misty Monchick says. “It’s excellent.”

Trainees come to the pre-apprentice program from all walks of life—from unemployed and underemployed men and women to formerly incarcerated people who need a hand re-entering society.

“There’s this career path offered through the building construction trades where folks can really earn a living wage,” says Rising Sun Energy Program Director Julia Hatton. “It offers an opportunity, a pathway out of poverty.”