Sonoma County employers offered subsidies to train new workers

Peter Renfro has always enjoyed working, starting at the age of 15. He also has had a knack for spotting jobs in burgeoning industries.

Renfro first started his career as a computer programmer in the early 1980s, where he worked on mortgage software systems. That led to a job in 2000 in the mortgage industry, which he left eight years later as he saw the impending financial crisis due to lax underwriting standards and massive Wall Street bets on the housing sector.

Renfro found a new up-and-coming field even though he was career transitioning in his 50s: solar energy. In 2009, he helped start a company that would install panels on homes and businesses. “I thought I had a bright future, pardon the pun. It was something I really believed in and wanted to make a difference,” the Forestville resident said.