Michael Johnson-Chase, Director, Green Workforce Training
Michael Johnson-Chase is the Director of the Green Career Training Program at Solar One. Responsible for program design and management, partnership development and employer cultivation, Michael built the training program from an idea in 2009 to serving 695 participants in energy efficiency, renewable energy and building operations and maintenance courses in 2011. A former university professor, Michael is past Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance and Associate Dean for the Peck School of Fine Arts at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Michael has worked extensively at premier cultural and academic institutions all across the globe. In 2004 Michael shifted to a new career in renewable energy and energy efficiency by training in solar system installation at Bronx Community College in New York City. He subsequently worked for a year as a solar installer at Quad State Solar in Long Island before returning to educational programming for Solar One. He holds a BA from San Francisco State University and several professional certificates; however, his education is better described as a long apprenticeship in learning by doing, which is how learning in the theatre and building trades really work.
Ismail Ocasio, Training Development Manager
Ismail Ocasio was born and raised in Brooklyn NY. A passionate community organizer and advocate for urban justice and equality. Ismail has worked on several youth based initiatives ranging from employment and economic development to broader humanitarian issues, with a clear focus on disadvantaged and marginalized populations. As an Intermediate Architect, he holds a Bachelors of Architectural Technology from New York City College of Technology and has worked as a design consultant on several residential, commercial, and community-based applications. He is an accredited BPI Building Analyst, Multi-Family Building Analyst and Envelope Professional. He continues to spend his free time volunteering as a youth mentor and program organizer. He is an advocate for community revitalization, self-determination, and engaging faith based initiatives to contextualize environmentalism in the spiritual dialogue.
James Kinyanjui, Training Site Manager
Coming out of the IT industry, James graduated from DeVry University in 2007 with a degree in Network Communications. For three years he worked in computer network administration in both New York and Seattle. Besides IT, James had extensive experience working in education. During high school, he volunteered at Big Brothers and Big Sisters of New York as a math tutor. In college, James held tutoring sessions for math and physics, and taught ABE math at two of Seattle’s correctional facilities. Back in New York, James volunteered at Strive for tutoring sessions in GED-Math prior to working for Solar One. Teaching is something that James has always enjoyed doing. The ability to share his love and appreciation of math and technical subjects is a major focal point and passion in his work. At Solar One, James manages the Green Workforce Training Lab in Long Island City, and assists in the instruction of several courses. He helps develop lessons, curricula, activities, and presentations that aim to be enjoyable as well as educational – and has the utmost fun doing it!