Bottom Line: Green-Collar Jobs provide a prosperous pathway out of poverty for our people and our planet.
"Let's take the people who most need work, connect them with the work that most needs to be done, and fight pollution and poverty at the same time." Van Jones, Founder, Green For All
Green-collar jobs are like blue-collar jobs with a sustainable, community-building twist. Green-collar jobs are meaningful, pay family wages, and provide opportunities for advancement along a career track of increasing skills and wages. Green-collar jobs are in growing industries that are helping us kick the fossil fuel habit, curbing greenhouse-gas emissions, eliminating toxins, and protecting natural systems. Green-collar workers are already installing solar panels, retrofitting buildings to make them more energy efficient, constructing transit lines, refining waste vegetable oil into biodiesel, erecting wind farms, repairing hybrid cars, installing green rooftops, planting trees, and so much more.
The vision of the green-collar jobs movement is to: rebuild a strong middle class, provide pathways out of poverty, strengthen urban and rural communities, and protect our health and the health of the planet. A job that does something for the planet, yet little to nothing for the people or the economy, is not a green-collar job. It is critical that all green-collar jobs strategies provide opportunities for low-income people to take the first step on a pathway from poverty to economic self-sufficiency.
To accomplish these goals, local jobs need to be developed in fields like renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and green building and manufacturing. The green-collar workforce will require some new skills (and new thinking about old skills), thus organizations like Green For All, the Apollo Alliance, and many others are already hard at work building coalitions to develop the necessary training programs.
- Learn more about green-collar jobs, the green economy, and the work of Green For All, at: www.greenforall.org. Look for videos featuring interviews with Van Jones, or green-collar success stories, at: www.greenforall.org/green-collar-jobs.
- Find tools to help you: communicate with the media about the green economy; organize collaborative discussion salons in your community; advocate for green-collar job creation with your elected representatives; and organize large, diverse, green events, at: www.greenforall.org/resources/tools-for-action (click on the ‘Green Recovery For All Toolkit' link).
- Find out more about the green-collar jobs movement, including the latest developments at national, state and local levels, at: www.apolloalliance.org.
*Above information gathered from the Green For All website, www.greenforall.org, and the Apollo Alliance website, www.apolloalliance.org