The U.S. Department of Labor announced the first phase of the Career Videos for America's Job Seekers Challenge on May 10, which invites members of the public to produce and submit one to three minute videos focusing on the daily activities of one of 15 high-wage and in-demand occupations. The video challenge is intended to result in greater visibility for selected occupations and increased numbers of workers seeking training and placement in these areas. The creators of the top video in each category will win a $1,000 cash prize.
The occupational videos should pertain to one of fifteen occupations; the five featured green occupations include:
The first phase of the challenge (video submission) ends August 20, 2010. If you would like more information or to submit a video, please see the Career Video Press Release, the Career Video Website , or the Training and Employment Notice.
Sustainable Roundtable Summary
In partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization (OBLR), International Economic Development Council (IEDC) hosted a Sustainability Roundtable discussion during the 2009 Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada, on October 7, 2009. The event brought together EPA representatives, economic development professionals, and others who are actively engaged in sustainable development initiatives. The roundtable was attended by more than 25 people representing the public, private and non-profit sectors. The summary paper (PDF) builds on the discussion at the roundtable to examine emerging trends, successful strategies, and continuing challenges in this cutting-edge area of economic development. For the report, please click here.
How Credentials can build a competitive, green energy workforce?
Last month, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) interviewed Sarah White, Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) on how credentials can build a competitive, green energy workforce. For the interview, please click here.
Working Women in the Green Economy Microsite
Last month, the Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation launched Working Women in the Green Economy , a new microsite tailored specifically for women seeking information and career assistance for sustainable jobs of the future.
“This new site, funded by the Walmart Foundation, is part of BPW Foundation’s Moving from Red to Green: Working Women in the Green Economy (Red to Green) initiative that connects women to the emerging green economy by providing green job training and resources,” said BPW Foundation Chair Roslyn Ridgeway. For more details, please click here.
The Community of Practice will be looking at the Youth population over the next few weeks. The first installment of this series is a brief scan of green jobs and the Youth population, federal policies and programs, and key organizations. Upcoming posts will feature YouthBuild and Summer Youth Employment. This is a brief scan of youth and green jobs.
The Learning Training Earning = GREEN Project
An American Recovery Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Green Capacity Building grant recipient, Arizona Women’s Education and Employment, Inc. (AWEE), is using its grant to develop curriculum for Green Industry Career Exploration workshops designed to recruit and orient job seekers to training and employment preparation activities for targeted occupations. AWEE is also developing curriculum for its “Green Connect” Job Club, a motivational networking and job search program component designed to bridge training and employment in green career pathways.
Grantee: Arizona Women’s Education and Employment, Inc. (AWEE)
Location of Grant Activities: Phoenix, Arizona
Grant Award: $100,000
Project Description: Arizona Women’s Education and Employment, Inc. (AWEE) is building capacity to launch the Learning Training Earning = GREEN (L T E=GREEN) Project designed to teach workers the skills required in green industry employment. AWEE will integrate new curriculum, staff training, equipment, and vocational training services to prepare eligible adult ex-offenders for employment in one of three targeted occupations. Specifically, the project will develop and launch career exploration workshops that will expose participants to training and employment opportunities in green industries; link participants with vocational training offered by area colleges and other entities to facilitate their entry into green career pathways; and facilitate job placement in training-related employment through business/industry-involved job clubs. The project’s targeted occupations include solar installer; heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC/R) installer/ technician; and weatherization technician/energy auditor.
Targeted Industry: Renewable energy and green building
Targeted Occupations: Solar Installer; Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC/R) Installer/ Technician; Weatherization Technician/Energy Auditor
Targeted Population: Adult ex-offenders
Success Story: Gilbert is a 44 year old Hispanic male who spent 2.5 years in prison for a drug charge. Gilbert is a plumber by trade and he struggled with the fact that he might not be able to become a plumber again. Gilbert has six children that live with him and his wife. He was fearful he wouldn't be able to feed his family.
Gilbert enrolled in the “Paths to Living Free” program in October 2009. Gilbert attended several classes at AWEE to get him ‘work ready’ such as, Resume Development, Kick-start (to improve his self-esteem) and Job Club (to learn about current job leads). At Job Club he found out about the Green Capacity Building Grant AWEE had received. He attended one of the first “Green Information Sessions.” After attending the Green Information session, Gilbert saw an opportunity for a new career in HVAC. As a result he researched his options and found funding to support his training in HVAC. Since completing the course work and passing the certification exam, he now has a job with A-1 Restaurant Service making $12.00/hour. AWEE as part of its commitment to Gilbert and supporting his efforts to build a new life paid for his plumbing tools and half of his tuition to go to school to train on using heavy plumbing equipment for his job. AWEE also supported Gilbert through food boxes and transportation assistance.
Gilbert is doing well today; he is more self-sufficient and is now providing for his family.
Click here to learn about the Green Capacity Building Grants.
The Community of Practice will be looking at the Manfuacturing Sector over the next few weeks. The first installment of this series is a brief scan of the manufacturing industry, federal policies and programs, and key organizations.
Subsequent postings will be from the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and other manufacturing employers that have green jobs.
The Green Jobs Community of Practice is focusing on youth. The Department of Labor supports several distinct programs for young people, with different goals and criteria. The Obama Administration and Labor Secretary Solis have encouraged youth programs to focus on green skills development. One of the most advanced “green jobs” youth-centric programs, with some of the earliest direct training in green skills, is YouthBuild.
YouthBuild is a youth and community development program that simultaneously addresses core issues facing low-income communities: housing, education, employment, crime prevention, and leadership development. In YouthBuild programs, low-income young people ages 16-24 work toward their GEDs or high school diplomas, receive training and earn credentials in construction skills and serve their communities by building affordable housing. By engaging in YouthBuild, many young people are able to transform their lives and build a new future.
There are now over 200 YouthBuild programs in 45 states, Washington, DC, and the Virgin Islands. Since 1994, 92,000 YouthBuild students have built 19,000 units of affordable, increasingly green housing.
A future blog entitled: “The Greening of YouthBuild” will describe the Three “C”s of YouthBuild’s successful green practice – construction, classroom, and career – and how green principles both inspire and prepare youth for leadership in a sustainable economy.
An ETA Bi-Regional Greening of Labor Market Information (LMI) Forum was held in Denver, Colorado on May 5-6, 2010. ETA's Dallas and San Francisco Regions created and produced the forum.
One-hundred participants attended the forum, representing 25 states (10 states were represented from outside of the Dallas and San Francisco regions). About 15 of the Green State LMI Improvement grantees (consortia and states) were represented at the Forum.
Several plenary sessions and workshops specifically for LMI grantees were held during the Forum. All of the presentations have been uploaded to the Green Jobs Community of Practice. The resources can be found here:
On May 25, ETA hosted a Webinar entitled: Registered Apprenticeship and Green: Building the New Economy; The Office of Apprenticeship recently issued a report titled, The Greening of Registered Apprenticeship: An Environmental Scan of the Impact of Green Jobs on Registered Apprenticeship and Implications for Workforce Development.
This report is an environmental scan of the impact of recent policies and investments supporting “green jobs” on current and potential Registered Apprenticeship and other labor management training programs. The scan highlights the trends, activities, and changes that are underway in several key industries that will likely make up a significant portion of the emerging green economy.
This Webinar provided an overview of the report findings, focusing on the efforts underway among Registered Apprenticeship partners to prepare workers for employment opportunities and career pathways becoming available through the emerging green economy.
Appalachian Regional Commission
In May, The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced the fourth round of a grant competition to assist Appalachian communities in leveraging renewable-energy and energy-efficiency resources to revitalize their economies. ARC expects to provide seven to fifteen awards of up to $75,000 each, for a total of $545,000 in awards, to successful applicants. The deadline for application submissions is August 31, 2010. Selections will be announced in fall 2010. For more information, see the request for proposals (RFP).
National Governors Association
In May, National Governors Association’s released the report on its ‘Securing a Clean Energy Future’ initiative where 12 states were selected through a competitive process to receive $50,000 grants to help advance a clean energy project of their choosing. The objective of the grant program was twofold: to assist states in exploring and expanding new techniques for promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean transportation, and to help other states learn how innovative clean energy programs are being implemented at the state level. The 12 states selected were: Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Utah. Each identified one or more clean energy objectives and a plan for overcoming the challenges to achieving these goals. For more information regarding the initiative, please see the report.
Center for Energy Workforce Development
In May, it was announced that Florida would be one of eight states slated to participate in a program aimed at moving young adults into utility industry careers. The Center for Energy Workforce Development's "Get Into Energy Career Pathways" program will target 16- to 26-year-old low-income adults and provide education, training and other support services to help them move into energy careers at power, nuclear and other engineering plants. For more information, please see the white paper.
Tim Aldinger is the Special Assistant for Professional and Project Development for the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB). In this role, he develops and coordinates green economy initiatives for the organization’s membership.
"No green," stated a member of a local workforce investment board, "I just don't believe in it." Despite my responsibility as a program manager who assists others in their green development efforts, I didn't really have a good response. Why wouldn't someone believe in green?
One reason is that the workforce system, politicians, economists and most everyone else does a bad job of understanding and explaining "green jobs."
One option is to move away from the green/not green framing and move towards "shades of green." At the National Association of Workforce Board's recent Forum, Forum 2010 - Preparing a Competitive U.S. Workforce - Reflection, Reinvestment, Recovery, several workshops and presentations on green reinforced the need for this reframing.
For example, a panelist from Indiana described how his area was working with coal companies to find more environmentally friendly ways to produce the coal.
In the binary view of green this is an oxymoron, as coal production has often had significant negative ecological impacts. However, the southwest Indiana workforce professionals would be hard pressed to ignore the significant role that coal plays in their labor market. This topic of conversation also arose in a pre-conference session on green.
Presenters from GSP Consulting in Pittsburgh described their approach to helping regions and states take a multi-input approach to green job development that includes labor market analysis, current economic base as well as market demand for green products. This approach underscores the need for looking at shades of green; as the multiple variables muddle a black and white (and green) picture of what green job you need.
While the "greenness" of a solar panel installer or energy efficiency contractor is easily grasped, what about an administrative assistant, or a computer programmer? It is in this grey area of green that we can add value to our planning processes and help job-seekers become more competitive in the market.
While renewables and energy efficiency are great growth areas, the tougher question we must ask is: How can we support a workforce that makes existing industry clusters and occupations greener?
If we focus our attention on that question we will help develop workers who find efficient, clean and low-impact ways to meet the needs of clients and customers. And even someone who doesn't believe in green can support that kind of workforce development.
I’d like to pose this question to the readers: How can you green the job you have, or bring green thinking to the job you want?