SEEING GREEN: Green Infrastructure Maintenance Training and Workforce Development Opportunities in Northeast Ohio

Seeing Green reveals that 219 jobs and economic activity in the range of $23 million will be created by Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s (NEORSD) green infrastructure investments. The jobs created to maintain green infrastructure will be sustainable jobs with dedicated funding through NEORSD. It has been shown on a national-level that green infrastructure jobs present an entry point into the workforce that has a relatively low barriers. This represents future potential to create a workforce development program that can target specific populations with historic barriers to employment in the Cleveland area. The report recommend that NEORSD, the City of Cleveland, and private institutions hire graduates of workforce programs for green infrastructure maintenance needs in order to realize true community benefits from public and private investments.

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Staying Green: Strategies to Improve Operations and Maintenance of Green Infrastructure in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

As more communities move towards adopting green infrastructure as a cost-effective approach to manage polluted runoff, it is critical that local governments address barriers to operations and maintenance. American Rivers and Green For All collaborated to develop Staying Green: Strategies to Improve Operations and Maintenance of Green Infrastructure in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, which highlights existing information related to costs of green infrastructure maintenance, identifies the significant barriers to effective operations and maintenance of these practices, recommends strategies to improve operations and maintenance, and provides resources and case studies that local governments can use as models.

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STAYING GREEN AND GROWING JOBS: Green Infrastructure Operations and Maintenance as Career Pathway Stepping Stones

The operations and maintenance of green infrastructure represents a significant opportunity to create entry-level jobs in the green sector for individuals from disadvantaged communities. In the coming years, thousands of new green infrastructure projects will be installed throughout the country. They will require a workforce trained to maintain and monitor the projects. Developed by Green For All in partnership with American Rivers, Staying Green and Growing Jobs: Green Infrastructure Operations and Maintenance as Career Pathway Stepping Stones reveals that water utilities investing in green infrastructure can outsource operations and maintenance work to workforce development programs that train individuals in green infrastructure – in fact, some already do. Operations and maintenance work gives disadvantaged community members access to jobs and career on-ramps while performing the work required by water utilities.

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Green Stormwater Jobs

This tool is a resource for all stakeholders promoting the use of green infrastructure using a jobs framework. Find persuasive data points and effective communication strategies to persuade decision makers to increase green infrastructure investments.

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Where To Get the Green: Sources of Funds for Green Entrepreneurs

Many people struggle to figure out how they can obtain the capital required to start and/or scale a business. This guide may not offer all of the answers, but it does provide helpful insights into a wide variety of financing options available to aspiring entrepreneurs as well as existing small business owners.

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Doing Business with the Federal Government: The Basics

Did you know that the U.S. government is the world’s largest buyer of products and services?

The Federal government spends more than $500 billion in contracting dollars every year. U.S. law currently establishes a goal that 23% of prime Federal contract dollars go to small businesses, and yet, it has fallen short of this goal for the past several years. Small businesses need to take better advantage of the Federal market place.

This practical guide is intended to:

  • Help small business owners de-mystify the Federal procurement process and increase access to federal contracts
  • Provide potential vendors with basic steps on how to become certified as a federal contractor
  • Offer resources on marketing and assistance with the bidding process
  • Highlight upcoming changes that will streamline the Federal procurement system

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High Road Agreements: A Best Practice Brief By Green For All

High Road Standards ensure that green projects, like citywide energy efficiency upgrades and water infrastructure repair—create real opportunities for the people who need them most.

This is a step-by-step guide for businesses and agencies that want to adopt High Road Agreements. Our brief lays out the best practices we’ve distilled from working on green development projects across the country. Our hope is that more and more communities will adopt High Road strategies—and maximize the unmatched opportunity we have to build the middle class and create a healthier, more prosperous and equitable America.

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Nonprofit Social Enterprise: Models and Funding

Leaders in the non-profit community are increasingly embracing social enterprise models in order to create opportunity in the green economy. Their growing use of market-based strategies is driven both by of the success of socially responsible business models and by the recent downturn in philanthropic funding. Green For All’s brief, “Nonprofit Social Enterprise: Models and Funding” provides an introduction for non-profits who are considering adopting social enterprise strategies, including a frank discussion of opportunities and challenges associated with this model. The brief highlights key questions to consider before deciding to create a social enterprise. It provides case studies of successful green social enterprises, and examples of organizations which provide capital to social enterprises.

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Water Works: Rebuilding Infrastructure, Creating Jobs, Greening The Environment

Want to create 1.9 million American jobs and add $265 billion to the economy? Upgrade our water infrastructure. That’s the message of Water Works: Rebuilding Infrastructure, Creating Jobs, Greening the Environment, a report by Green For All, in partnership with American Rivers, Pacific Institute, and the Economic Policy Institute.

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The report looks at an investment of $188.4 billion in water infrastructure—the amount the EPA indicates would be required to manage stormwater and preserve water quality. That investment would inject a quarter of a trillion dollars into the economy, create nearly 1.3 million direct and indirect jobs and result in 568,000 additional jobs from increased spending.

Further, the report notes that this is the best moment to make the investment. With the recession creating a shortfall of 11.1 million jobs that would be needed to keep pace with the population and 9.1% unemployment, the jobs are critically needed. Moreover, the cost of financing these much-needed upgrades are at historic lows, and the still-struggling economy means much cheaper construction costs.


1. Call your representatives and ask them to support federal investment in water infrastructure so our communities can comply with the Clean Water Act and provide healthy clean water to our communities.

2. Take action in your home or community to support the Clean Water Act and make sure you and your neighbors have access to clean healthy water:

a. Plant a rain garden in your backyard or on a plot of land or park in your community.

b. Install a rain barrel at your house. Encourage local businesses and municipal buildings to do the same.

c. Organize a community workshop or house party on water issues. Check out Green For All’s water toolkit with materials and a facilitation guide.


Energy Efficiency Toolkit

This practitioner-focused Toolkit for Residential Energy Efficiency Upgrade Programs was created by Green For All to assist new, established, and future energy efficiency programs launch and scale initiatives that can deliver the full promise of the green economy. It is intended as a practical resource that offers key examples, best practices, effective tools, and tested templates that a program manager can deploy to implement a variety of aspects of their program including:

  • Generating sustained program demand
  • Establishing innovative finance mechanisms to reach the largest consumer market possible
  • Building job standards and contractor support into programs that result in family supporting jobs and community economic development.

Generally, the elements that form the toolkit are best practice briefs and summary documents, RFPs, contracts, and other program design and implementation templates that communities nationwide have used to create their own efficiency programs. 


  1. General Reference – General resources about energy efficiency programs and enabling policies.
  2. High Road Strategies – Tools and templates to understand and implement High Road Strategies that create economic development opportunities for communities.
  3. Financing & Repayment Mechanisms – Resources about financing energy efficiency upgrades to as broad a market segment as possible, including low and moderate income groups.
  4. Increasing Contractor Capacity – Policies, tools, and case studies focused on building contractor capacity in the energy efficiency market. These resources highlight strategies that support small, historically under-represented contractors to grow their businesses.
  5. Marketing & Demand Generation – Resources for generating demand amongst consumers and building the market for energy efficiency upgrades. This section focuses on outreach strategies that leverage community assets like community-based organizations and trusted messengers.
  6. Workforce Development and Education – Resources that describe services, programs, systems and networks that provide education, skill development and improved access to jobs and career advancement in the energy efficiency sector.
  7. Multi-Family Buildings – Resources targeted specifically to achieve energy efficiency upgrades in multifamily buildings such as apartment and condominium complexes.

About Communities Of Practice

The Toolkit is a project of Green For All’s Communities of Practice program, which works to lift up the models and tools that practitioners use at the local level to inform the design and implementation of programs across the nation. We are honored to work with some of the country’s most innovative efficiency programs to accelerate and replicate best practices so that the next generation of programs can achieve greater results more efficiently.

The Retrofit America’s Cities Communities of Practice operates under the premise that energy efficiency programs of today will prove that significant reductions in our national energy usage are not only achievable but will serve to stimulate economic development and create cleaner, healthier communities. These programs will generate the first standardized data about the benefits associated with efficient buildings, thereby informing building operators and residents about the long-term value of investing in efficiency in terms of financial savings, comfort, and health. In turn, the increased value of efficient buildings will help to create a viable and self-reliant market for energy efficiency.

Today’s energy efficiency programs are testing strategies and proving models that will form the foundation that the energy efficiency sector will build upon as it scales. Success will depend upon wide recognition of the benefits of energy efficiency, easy access to energy efficiency services by a large consumer base, and strong business models and a well-trained workforce that can consistently deliver those benefits to interested consumers.

This Toolkit address each of the specific components that Green For All has identified for achieving programmatic success. Each section offers tools and templates to implement the best practices that today’s energy efficiency programs have forged. Taken as a whole, the Toolkit offers the resources to build a strong, comprehensive program that can realize the full potential of the green economy.

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The Community of Practice web pages were made possible by the generous support of the Mitchell Kapor Foundation (

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