Community Colleges Spur Green Jobs

According to a recent news release green collar jobs are growing at a rate double that of all others overall. In order to keep the momentum going in building the green economy,  the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and Jobs for the Future (JFF) have joined forces on a two-year project aimed at spurring green jobs education, innovation and training at community colleges in the United States.

With financial support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Greenforce Initiative: Advancing Greener Careers and Campuses seeks to strengthen the capacity of community colleges in implementing or refining existing  ”green career pathway programs” while strengthening their capacity to respond to immediate and long-term workforce needs in emerging green sectors.

Green Jobs

image via St. Francis University

The Greenforce Initiative was highlighted as a featured commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative University meeting in April of this year and has so far created six regional Learning and Action Networks in partnership with community colleges in North Carolina, Northern Virginia, Metro Chicago, Southern Texas, Seattle and Michigan. A two-year, $250,000 grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation will be supporting the initiative’s implementation in Michigan.

“While community colleges have emerged as the leading provider of training for green jobs, for many of them it is unchartered territory,” said Kerry Sullivan, President, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, in a statement. “In working with both the National Wildlife Federation and Jobs for the Future, we saw an opportunity to introduce these organizations and have them collaborate to help rebuild the capacity and competitiveness of America’s workforce. By connecting graduates of community colleges’ environmental programs to the pipeline of available jobs, we are enhancing the economic and social health of the communities we serve.”

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.