Green-Collar Job Training After Katrina

Authors: ada Crossposted from By Cassandra Stern Apollo News Service January 5th, 2009G NEW ORLEANS - The shape of a national clean energy, good jobs training program for young people is gaining real definition here, where 800 young people are beginning full-time service as part of the Conservation Corps of Greater New Orleans, earning real money, educational stipends and preparing for careers in the new green economy while helping rebuild their hurricane and flood-damaged city from the ground up. “This is the one time that a city actually has the opportunity to be reborn and be better,” said Jim Gordon, program manager for Limitless Vistas, Inc., a nonprofit workforce training and development program. Limitless collaborates with the national Conservation Corps network to train at-risk, inner-city youth for work as certified environmental field technicians. “The school system is being rebuilt, the city is being rebuilt. The question now is how do you make sure this is an inclusive process?” The New Orleans green-collar training program is an example of both the need and opportunity to train American workers for the myriad jobs that the Apollo Alliance and many labor economists anticipate in the new clean energy economy. Those programs are likely to receive a huge boost this month when President-elect Barack Obama makes public a mammoth economic stimulus proposal — perhaps as large as $700 billion to $1 trillion over two years — to put 2.5 million people back to work. Congressional leaders say that the new president will propose spending $100 billion or more over two years on clean energy development.

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