Green Workforce Spotlight: Salalai Vongsy

Green Workforce Spotlight: Salalai Vongsy

MCE’s Workforce Education and Training (WE&T) Program provides local trainees with access to green job opportunities in the Bay Area. Through the program, local partners — such as RichmondBUILD — offer energy efficiency and electrification job-skills training.

Salalai Vongsy graduated from RichmondBUILD in 2021 and was immediately hired by MCE contracting partner, Eco Performance Builders. We spoke with Salalai about his experience with the program.

How did you get involved with the RichmondBUILD training program?

I recently returned home after spending 20 years in prison. I was looking for ways to get my life together and liked the idea of working in the construction industry. One of my friends is an assistant instructor with RichmondBUILD, and he told me about the opportunities available through the program. I was able to get into the program and got to learn hands-on training and construction skills.

How has your career progressed since graduating from the program?

A recruiter from Eco Performance Builders named Patch Garcia heard me speak at the RichmondBUILD graduation ceremony and reached out to me about a job. After speaking with her, I landed an interview and started my career. I was hired as an HVAC technician to improve the efficiency of heating and cooling systems in the East Bay. In this line of work, we do a lot of research and try to provide customers with the best options to help them save energy and money.

What would you say to someone considering joining this program?

This is a great program. It helped me transition from prison to a career. This program helped steer me in the right direction and gave me skills, knowledge, and certifications that I need to be successful. For people who don’t know what they’re doing with their life, they need to check out RichmondBUILD

MCE’s WE&T Program connects job seekers with energy efficiency and electrification contractors looking for enthusiastic team members. Successful candidates are matched with a vetted contractor to receive paid on-the-job training with the opportunity for employment in the growing green energy industry.

For job seekers interested in training and education opportunities or contractors in need of staff, visit

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