Incorporating environmental considerations into economic development activities is becoming increasingly widespread contributing to a major expansion of what is known as the green economy. With a long history of work in economic development, job training and environmental planning, regional councils are seeking ways to build their green economies, including training and placing workers in existing and emerging green occupations.
NARC, in partnership with ICF International, Monster Government Solutions, MWH Global and Colorado Energy Group, received a Pathways Out of Poverty grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to develop on-the-ground strategies in four regions to train and place workers in green jobs and career pathways. This American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funded project aimed to support “programs that help disadvantaged populations find ways out of poverty and into economic self-sufficiency through employment in energy efficiency and renewable energy industries.”
NARC, together with its national and regional partners, provided training, certification and nationally recognized credentials and apprenticeship programs to un- and underemployed individuals in four regions in Arizona, Texas and Ohio, to facilitate their transition into jobs in the weatherization and energy-efficient building sector; renewable energy (solar and wind); environmental remediation; and deconstruction and materials reuse industries. Through this project, the NARC team:
- Evaluated green job opportunities in demonstration regions;
- Recruited potential workers in target groups for training in the green economy;
- Established training programs in specific green trades in tandem with local community colleges that help workers secure portable green jobs credentials;
- Constructed green jobs web portals in each region – to facilitate communication between employees and potential employers; and
- Shared lessons from these demonstration efforts with regions across the country.
For information about the regional project partners, please see:
- Central Arizona Association of Governments (CAAG), Apache Junction, AZ
- Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC), Dayton, OH and East End Community Services, Dayton, OH
- Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission (PBRPC), Midland, TX
- SouthEastern Arizona Governments Organization (SEAGO), Bisbee, AZ
For more information about the project, please see www.narc.org/pathways.