ACE to Create Green Collar Jobs through Local Government Initiatives

Comprised of 15 divisional staff and faculty members from across LaGuardia, ACE’s Green/Sustainability Program Development Committee had their inaugural meeting on April 23 to plan how to build a green economy from the bottom up. The Local Government Green Jobs Pledge set the parameters for their work, a five step process: Commit to action, create a green collar jobs taskforce, identify goals and assess opportunities, create a local action plan and evaluate, leverage and grow.

Next, members set up a shared folder in Groupwise to pool reading material –Van Jones’ The Green Collar Economy topped the list- and other resources that would help fuel their quest. At the first meeting, they set their charge: To develop and implement a strategic plan that will enable the Division of Adult and Continuing Education to design and offer stand-alone and collaborative fee-based courses and grant supported vocational training. This initiative will enable unemployed and incumbent workers to secure sustainable jobs that advance the sustainability plan of LaGuardia and the green collar economy.
“We have a very supportive infrastructure to do this,” says committee chair Sandra Watson, ACE’s Dean of Workforce Development. “The need is clearly there, we just need to marshal resources at the local, state and national level to make it happen.”

They examined current projects underway at LaGuardia, like the Sustainability Council’s effort to reduce the College’s carbon footprint; CUNY-wide, such as the Bronx Sustainability Project at Bronx Community College and citywide, like Mayor Bloomberg’s Urban Agenda and also brainstormed immediate, short and long term goals.
The committee will design three workforce development programs in Allied Health fields, green collar jobs and sustainability for the College’s non-credit areas to open up career pathways to “green” jobs. The structure will be similar to ACE’s GED to Allied Health Bridge program, with basic skills learning components in math and science to prepare students for transfer into a credit-bearing major, such as environmental science, with green job potential.

 “We’re also using resources we already have to develop a weatherization program for the fall,” says Dean Watson.
The committee met again in May and June, and will proceed to quarterly meeting starting in September. Upon further review, they agreed to add to the charge a public education component and an entrepreneurial perspective.

Lara Moon is the Writer and Editor in LaGuardia’s Office of Communications and Marketing.

ACE Green Task Force

Comprised of 15 divisional staff and faculty members from across LaGuardia, ACE’s Green/Sustainability Program Development Committee had their inaugural meeting on April 23 to plan how to build a green economy from the bottom up. The Local Government Green Jobs Pledge set the parameters for their work, a five step process: Commit to action, create a green collar jobs taskforce, identify goals and assess opportunities, create a local action plan and evaluate, leverage and grow.

 

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