Authors: Julie Roberts, Director of State and Local Initiatives There has been a lot of talk lately about how hard it is for the green economy to grow when the congressional efforts that would "even the playing field" between the dirty old economy and the growing green economy have been blocked. While their failure to act is frustrating, many communities are not waiting around, and have figured out other ways to grow demand for green products and services, and grow businesses. Since they are creating the work, the smartest initiatives have leveraged partnerships with contractors to get trained workers from their communities to work. Green For All is excited about one of the projects which does just that, documented by Green For All fellow, Clarke Gocker of PUSH Buffalo. After a careful process of building relationships with a broad range of stakeholders, they have built a network with 9 contractors who have signed a high-roads agreement committing them to hire targeted workers and pay fair wages. As a result, community partners will be creating leads for these contractors and helping to grow their home improvement business. We think it's a good model, and if you're interested in building a high road contractor network to drive demand in your community, putting folks to work, we highly recommend taking a look at Clark's final project for the fellowship.
Clarke Gocker is a native of Rochester, NY. He has spent most of his adult life acquiring the tools of a critical sociological perspective at universities in Western New York and Canada. Currently he is pursuing a PhD in sociology from the University at Buffalo while also working full-time as a project manager and workforce organizer at PUSH Buffalo, a grassroots anti-poverty, jobs and housing justice organization. Read Clarke's full profile »