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Green jobs to help the environment and keep inner-city youth off the streets
Detail: The Green Jobs Act of 2007 is an innovative component of the Energy Package that is set to pass the U.S. House this week. This new legislation will make $120 million a year available across the country to begin training workers (and would-be workers) for jobs in the clean energy sector.

The City of Oakland became one of the first cities to pass a Green Jobs Bill. This meant rebuilding and retrofitting energy infrastructure and training workers to do so. The labor shortage in green jobs prompted the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights to start a pilot project called Oakland Green Jobs Corps to partner with community colleges to start training young people so that they can independently pursue careers in the new energy economy. This training program also seeks to collaborate with other community based organizations, unions and private companies to make sure that those people who most need the jobs — urban youth, returning veterans, struggling farmers, displaced workers from manufacturing sectors — can get all the training they need to fill those posts.

According to Van Jones, president of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, “…the good thing about that is you teach a young person how to weatherize a building, how to double pane that glass. That young person can now join the union as a glazer. If you're putting up solar panels, you're on your way to becoming an electrical engineer. You can join the United Electrical Workers Union. That's a green pathway out of poverty…So when we try to meet this energy challenges and environmental challenge trying to save the polar bears, you also have a chance to save a whole generation of African-American, Latino and poor youth in our inner cities.”

As these jobs of retrofitting homes and city infrastructure cannot be outsourced overseas, green jobs provide job security to the American worker.




Source: News & Notes 9:00 AM EST, National Public Radio (NPR), July 18, 2007 Wednesday; and http://www.ellabakercenter.org/page.php?pageid=82&contentid=289
Date: August 1 2007