Recently, I had the pleasure of joining with Secretary Solis and other Senior Officials from the U.S. Department of Labor to discuss significant investments in green jobs programs with leaders from several national foundations. The discussion also focused on effective strategies that create employment and advancement opportunities in the green job industry.
"Although unemployment in the U.S. has decreased in many states, we are still not where we need to be and must continue to find solutions to help the unemployed," said Secretary Solis. "We need to focus our efforts and investments in high growth fields that can lead to solid and long-term employment opportunities, and make sure to include all the right partners who contribute to creating jobs and training and supporting workers."
The foundations discussed their investments in and best practices of community-based partnerships that engage and serve low-income and disadvantaged populations. The Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships within the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is working with the Employment and Training Administration and other DOL agencies to incorporate such approaches into their programs. For example, one of the priorities of DOL's new Green Jobs Innovation Fund (GJIF) is to incentivize innovative partnerships that effectively connect community-based organizations in underserved communities with the workforce investment system to better serve targeted populations through a new focus on career advancement in green industry sectors. More information about upcoming funding opportunities including GJIF is available from ETA.
If you know of innovative, community-based efforts to support green jobs or if you have ideas to support this effort, please email us at CFBNP (at) dol.gov
Ben Seigel is Associate Director at the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Labor.