Green jobs workshop

Creating a socially just green economy was the focus of the workshop held at Latino business conference in Longmont on Oct. 14.

BoulderTalks and the Just Transition Collaborative co-sponsored “The New Green Economy,” which ran from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at the Plaza Convention Center in Longmont. It was part of the RISE Colorado Latino Business Conference 2016, which focused on building connections with government agencies, corporations, nonprofits, small businesses and individuals in the local Hispanic business community. The Latino Chamber of Commerce in Longmont hosted the events.

“The transition to renewable energy will be a catalyst for new jobs and businesses in Boulder County and throughout Colorado,” said Manuela Sifuentes, a workshop speaker who is a member of the CU Boulder-based Just Transition Collaborative and Executive Director of the Latino Task Force of Boulder County.  

“This workshop is an opportunity to strengthen dialogue about how the Latino community can be leaders in this transition, and benefit from the jobs and economic opportunities that it brings,” she said.

Other workshop speakers included Tiara Na'puti, a CU Boulder Assistant Professor of Communication and David Ciplet, who is Interim Executive Director of the Just Transition Collaborative and a CU Boulder Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies.

BoulderTalks is a Center at CU Boulder that fosters community and knowledge through democratic engagement. The Just Transition Collaborative was created to work closely with local communities to ensure a socially just transition to affordable and clean energy.

The first part of the workshop included presentations on market and job trends related to energy, including solar, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and landscaping, and ways local business owners and workers can take advantage of these changes.

For the second half of the workshop, focus groups discussed how green business and employment can be a barrier and an opportunity for Latinos, and how to leverage investments, grants and networking opportunities.