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More green collar jobs

GCBL staff  |  07/01/08 @ 11:05am

Last week we reported that dozens of temporary green collar jobs were created for Cleveland's Summer Youth Program. Now we discover that the city built a pipeline for green collar jobs.

In 2003, the Water Department started a training program for unemployed city residents to convert paper maps of its extensive water delivery system into digital format. Cleveland Resident Workforce provided 50 paid trainees on Geographic Information System (GIS), a mapping software program, to create maps and a searchable database of 500,000 water connections, 5,200 miles of water mains, and 270 electric feeders and electrical substations.

Four of the trainees stayed on as permanent hires, and the GIS work continues to improve operations at the city. Analyzing routes with GIS has allowed truck rerouting and led to a 15 to 22 percent savings for mileage and drive time, according to a study done by the Division of Waste Collection and Disposal. The city used this savings to reinstate a recycling program that had been cut for lack of funds. It bought new recycling containers and trucks to start a pilot recycling program.

ESRI, the company that makes GIS software, recognized Cleveland's use of GIS with its 2007 Special Achievement Award. Read more at American Planning Association's Planning magazine.

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