Green Collar Jobs in California: Philanthropy’s Role

Following up on the August 7th summit, Green Collar Jobs: Green Economy and Workforce Development – A Learning Agenda, that the Mitchell Kapor Foundation helped sponsor in Sacramento, local philanthropists came together on September 30th to recap the event, learn findings from months of research, and share strategies to continue advancing California’s green economy. Paloma Pavel and Carl Anthony from Oakland’s Earth House Leadership Center facilitated the discussion.

Since the project began, AB 3018, the Green Collar Jobs Act of 2008 (F. Nunez), has passed the state legislature and is now awaiting the Governor’s signature. This statute mandates a “Green Collar Jobs Council” that would — among other tasks — build public, private, and non-governmental partnerships to boost workforce development opportunities for Green Collar Jobs throughout the state. Not only does AB 3018 join a series of groundbreaking policies in California to curb global warming (like AB 32), it also recognizes that while California’s economy develops, it must also lift up the formerly incarcerated, emancipated youth, veterans, and others who’ve historically found barriers to employment.

As outcomes of the 9/30/08 meeting, those attending the meeting proposed:
• To join the Green Collar Jobs Council (still in formation) and to identify intersecting goals with the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee
• To meet with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, Workforce Investment Board, Dept. of Education, and other agencies to facilitate implementation of the statute on regional and local levels.
• To fund collaborations regionally among green industry employers, local community colleges, and grassroots organizations for mutually beneficial school-to-career pathways.

CLICK HERE to read the Executive Summary on the August 7th Summit!

Photo by Brooke Anderson via Flickr; from Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and the Apollo Alliance rally for a green jobs corps in Oakland.

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