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Green jobs corps

Marc Lefkowitz  |  12/13/06 @ 3:54pm

We get at least one call or email a week from someone who's ready to make a career change (or start) in this burgeoning field of sustainability. We always suggest getting your feet wet by attending as many programs and networking events as you can grab from GCBL’s community calendar. And participating in the dialogue here at GreenCityBlueLake by signing up for a (free) user account.

But, all of these calls for jobs raise a more serious question: How can we as a region stimulate more economic development in green industries?

It’s going to take a big, collective effort like the one Oakland, California is embarking on. Similar to Mayor Daley’s efforts to make Chicago America’s greenest city, New York City's  sustainability agenda, and Pittsburgh's effort to be the green products capital, Oakland’s new mayor Ron Dellums—a visionary black progressive who had retired from politics—promises to make Oakland “a Silicon Valley” of green capital. He has pledged to make the growth of the green economy central to Oakland's comeback, according to Yes! magazine.

Dellums and the local chapter of the Apollo Alliance have many great ideas, but this one in particular Cleveland should unabashedly copy—a “Green Jobs Corps”—a training pipeline and partnership between labor unions, the community college system, and the City to train and employ residents, particularly hard-to-employ constituencies, in the new green economy.

Read more about Cleveland’s efforts to adopt sustainability here, and about Oakland’s revolutionary green efforts here.

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