Green Jobs For All Now… Including You?

solar panels installed
Photo Credit: solar panels on a 15th century old manor by Eric Delalonde

Van Jones, founder of Green For All, has been an advocate of what we as of late have rather casually been calling “green jobs”. My understanding is that green jobs include what is called retro fitting and building weatherization upgrades. In their words Green For All “promotes green-collar jobs and opportunities for the disadvantaged. Its mission is to build an inclusive, green economy – strong enough to resolve the ecological crisis and lift millions of people out of poverty.”

I like the idea of knocking out several birds with one stone (yeah, I said it PETA!). I’ve been inspired by their message and it seems some of their work has paid off. “The Department of Labor (DOL) released grant guidelines for $500 million in green jobs training, including $150 million for “Pathways out of Poverty” grants!”

President Obama signed into law an economic-recovery package containing more than $20 billion investing in a greener economy, including $500 million for green job training. According to the Council of Economic Advisers, ‘green’ jobs pay 10 to 20 percent more than other jobs and are more likely to be union jobs. Consumers also benefit from lower electric and heating bills through solar electric and solar water heating.”~Getty Images.

This money is specifically supposed to target “unemployed individuals, high school dropouts, individuals with criminal record and disadvantaged individuals within areas of high poverty” by helping them find “pathways out of poverty and into economic self sufficiency” through green jobs. That is quite an accomplishment but the skeptic in me is trying to figure out how the government is going to stray from that mission. The New Deal was supposed to have helped a lot of Black people but we know that the laws and new deals were applied differently to Black folks. The specific targeting of certain individuals is a big step in the right direction, but I think I’ll hold off on getting excited until I see the plans being rolled out. I’ll keep you posted on those, friends.

To learn more about the grant guidelines or to download a summary from the DOL check out the source “$500 million for green jobs training – Grant guidelines released!”

To get involved in helping Green For All live out their mission check out greenforall.org

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