ENGIE partnered with Oakland USD during 2018-2020 to design and build energy-saving improvements and learning environment upgrades at 14 OUSD schools. This clean energy project created $16.0 million in General Fund savings by leveraging state grants and a relatively small amount of residual facilities Bond funds. These savings can now be redirected to teacher salaries and other critical District needs.
Oakland Unified School District’s partnership with ENGIE included internships for eight students. The OUSD and ENGIE partnership has proven to be an incredibly successful collaboration over the last four years (2019-2022).
At the end of the internship, students are asked a series of questions – 100% of participants agreed that their involvement in the ENGIE internship has provided both valuable career information and experience that can apply to their coursework or future career.
In Spring 2019, OUSD Green Academy student, Bonnie Guan, shadowed ENGIE engineers to support her senior project on Prop 39. Her time with ENGIE focused on the overall energy project within the District, and her field work concentrated on LED lighting.
Senior Bonnie Guan (right) observes first-hand the construction implementation of the energy-saving lighting retrofit at Skyline High School. Project improved the student learning environment and frees up $16 million in utility costs for other critical District needs. Also pictured: Project Manager Shira Zingman-Daniels and Construction Manager Daryl Blue.
In the summer of 2020, a virtual ENGIE internship effort brought students together from across California (Compton, Oakland and Hayward) and Illinois (Niantic) to create a plan for community and student involvement and energy management action planning for school sites. Students identified pathways forward to improve energy efficiency, such as requesting access to the Energy Portfolio Manager and learning about the school’s energy goals. At the end of the internship, students went on to support programming for Skyline High School’s Green Academy.
The 2021 Summer Internship included a multi-city program from cities in California (Oakland, Hayward, Castro Valley, Madera, Compton, Pleasanton) and Illinois (Mendota) where students worked together to research California legislation. The culminating project for these interns was a Social Media Toolkit and an Open House Presentation.
“I have learned a lot about the impacts of green energy and how it affects our environment today. I can use this new perspective in my future career.”
Zi Yan Wu, 2020 ENGIE Intern
The Toolkit created by the 2021 interns informs users how to apply California laws related to waste reduction and diversion, including SB 1383. The Open House Final Presentation for community leaders and school district officials informs decision-making around California waste regulation compliance at school.
The 2022 ENGIE Summer Interns from Hayward, Oakland, and Salinas, CA and Riverton, IL created short podcasts around various energy topics. Interns worked to collect information, create scripts, and record their findings into 15-minute podcasts. The podcast interns were independent and motivated, conducting high-level research with impressive final products. Interns also met ENGIE mentors from around the world who have given them helpful bits of life skills, career know-how, and professional tips that have positively impacted their podcasts. Student interns created a long-lasting impact and their voices will be heard loud and clear as we plan to utilize the podcasts that are now used in educational materials for related energy lessons.
In addition to the internships, two teachers and two staff toured the Energy Observer on San Francisco Bay in May 2021 to learn how clean energy (hydrogen, wind, and solar) powers this experimental vessel around the world.
The OUSD-ENGIE partnership has created a legacy that has ripple-effect impacts for the greater Oakland area and our world. The students who joined the internship program have been given an opportunity to consider the environment in a new way as they move through the world as stewards of our planet.