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GREEN COLLAR JOBS Prepared by: Victoria Cooper, PhD, Director, Environmental Technology Program, Wilbur Wright College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago,

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Presentation on theme: "GREEN COLLAR JOBS Prepared by: Victoria Cooper, PhD, Director, Environmental Technology Program, Wilbur Wright College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago,"— Presentation transcript:

1 GREEN COLLAR JOBS Prepared by: Victoria Cooper, PhD, Director, Environmental Technology Program, Wilbur Wright College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago, June 23, 2008 Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Initiative

2 Defining Green Collar Jobs  Concept is still in development  Generally considered blue collar jobs in the Green Economy  The definition of the Green Economy is also in development leaving lots of room for innovation  Everyone agrees that greening of our economy will be necessary for sustainability  Requires new job training for existing and new jobs along with entrepreneurship  Entry level jobs must be connected to career advancement

3 Green Collar Jobs Policy Environment  Workforce supply and economic demand are central to understanding the new “green economy”  What are the targeted industries and jobs? building and construction industry for new and existing buildings energy efficiency and re-use of the existing built environment for renovation or building materials re-use alternative energy systems: solar, solar thermal, geothermal, wind and wave energy along with others not yet developed Urban agriculture Manufacturing  Fluid definition of the jobs and the economy can create pathways for diversity and innovation from entry level jobs to career pathways  Recognition that all jobs have green aspects to them and need retooling to address the green economy

4 National Movement for Green Collar Jobs  Green for All has become the national organization coordinating many green collar job initiatives (greenforall.org)  Their mission is to: “Build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty”  Initiated and passed “Green Jobs Act” as part of the 2007 Energy Bill  Many local organizations and government entities nationwide involved in various green jobs initiatives

5  Chicago Collaboration of organizations focused on Green Collar program development  Develop a Green Collar Resource Hub to facilitate job training, economic development and development of green collar career paths  Focus on construction, urban agriculture and service jobs Economic Development Business Expansion Job Creation Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Initiative

6 Timeline for Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Initiative  Planners converged - Summer 2007  Developed Summit - Fall 2007  Hosted Green Collar Jobs Summit - on Dec 7, 2007 with over 150 participants  Officially established the Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Initiative and founders became Steering Committee - Winter 2008  Initiative publicly opened to partner organizations - Winter 2008  Develop work plan and awarded $75,000 to complete research on Green Collar Job type and training required - Spring 2008  Continue to work on work plan in partnership with other organizations – Summer/Fall 2008

7 Timeline for Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Initiative  Fall 2008, Election Campaign with all candidates talking about Green Collar Jobs  November 2008, the election of Barack Obama!  Fall 2008, In Chicago the release of the Chicago Climate Action Plan  February 2009, Good Jobs/Green Jobs Conference in Washington  Spring 2009, passage of funding for the Green Jobs Act  March 27, 2009 Second Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Summit

8 Partner Organizations PARTNERS  Association House of Chicago  Bickerdike Redevelopment Corp.  Center for Labor and Community Research  Chicago Botanic Gardens  Chicago Jobs Council  Christy Webber Landscapes  Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning  Elliott Donnelley Youth Center  Grounds For Growth  Heartland Alliance  National Transitional Jobs Network  ARISE Chicago - Interfaith Worker Justice  Jane Addams Resource Corporation  Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO)  Logan Square Neighborhood Association  Millenia Consulting  North Lawndale Employment Network  OAI, inc.  Pace  Ross Marketing Group  Shore Bank  Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter  The Partnership for New Communities

9 Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Initiative MISSION  An independent alliance actively engaged in promoting the green collar economy  The Initiative provides the resources, contacts, support and insights your business or organization needs to be successful in the emerging green economy  Provides a network for information exchange and networking among the green jobs community

10 Accomplishments  Developed the Chicagoland Standardized Weatherization Training Curriculum  Assembled local leaders in the emerging field of Green Collar Jobs through our Annual Summit and quarterly Partner Meetings  Promoted and highlighted the news of Chicagoland's green economy through our monthly e-newsletter. It is the ONLY source of green collar news and information. Nearly 1,000 stakeholders rely upon it every month.  Represent Partner interests with governmental, educational, and business decision makers as a single independent voice. Over the past two years, our influence has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Workforce Boards of Greater Chicagoland, the Illinois Community College Sustainability Network, the City of Chicago’s Green Jobs for All, the Department of Labor… plus many more organizations and prominent business people  Advocated on behalf of the American Clean Energy and Security Act in Washington  Initiated task forces around key issues and provided expertise and technical assistance to build our green economy in the Chicagoland region

11 Pathways out of Poverty

12 Green Collar Jobs WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT Career pathway concepts applies to Green Jobs initiatives  Traditional pathways such as construction, manufacturing, agriculture/horticulture and engineering do not comfortably fit into green jobs definitions  Many different kinds of workers will require a systemic framework for combining work and education to advance to higher skills/better jobs in green industries  Green skills/credentials must also be included within existing career pathways  Must integrate with local workforce development community and resources

13 Training Youth for Green Collar Jobs  High school programs  At risk youth who are not currently in traditional education systems  Contextualized remedial education  Underestimating skill levels for Green Jobs  STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and math)  Under represented populations  Role of organized labor

14 Current Green Collar Jobs Initiatives  POP Grants  Stimulus funds to state and local agencies  Current emphasis on training through grant funds  Summer youth programs/weatherization, urban agriculture  Social enterprises  Role of the community college in green job creation and training  Jobs continue to lag behind training

15 Challenges Facing Green Jobs Initiatives  Unclear definitions create both uncertainty and opportunity  The environmental movement has traditionally been a social movement based on virtue and commitment, not economic drivers  The workforce development community is based on economic drivers, not virtue and commitment  The political process creates distortions such as unfulfilled expectations on the part of potential recruits tax incentives that favor certain technologies over others and inadequate educational preparation for job requirements lack of integration of green economic development and workforce development

16 The Future of Green Collar Jobs and Job Training  Matching Job Creation and Job Training to optimize economic growth  Legislating to create opportunities on both the supply and demand sides of the equation at both the State and Federal level  Standardization and regulation of processes and procedures for green jobs  Success based on including appropriate stakeholders in the process  Avoiding the Green Washing Effect

17 Green Collar Jobs Resources  workforcealliance.org  COWS.org (Center for Wisconsin Strategy)  greencollarchicago.org (CGCJI)  greenforall.org  ssbx.org (Sustainable South Bronx)  apolloalliance.org (Oakland, California) Reports Greener Pathways: Jobs and Workforce Development in the Clean Energy Economy Green-Collar Jobs in America’s Cities: Building Pathways Out of Poverty and Careers in the Clean Energy Economy Contact me at: Victoria Cooper, PhD –


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