Urban Agenda and the Center for American Progress presented their New York City Green Collar Jobs Roadmap this morning at Philanthropy New York, facilitating a discussion between grantmakers, educators, and representatives from community groups and NGOs.
The Roadmap is the product of the Green-Collar Jobs Roundtable, an advisory board of over 170 organizations, including labor unions, job training programs and businesses. Led by Urban Agenda, the Roundtable compiled data on the current status of green jobs in New York City, and used that data to develop over 30 recommendations for an efficient path into a greener economy. Joanne Derwin, co-founder and executive director of Urban Agenda, explained that a main goal of the Roundtable, and the resulting Roadmap, is to implement real change without just adding another study to a shelf.
J. Mijin Cha, Director of Campaign Research, led the meeting with Derwin and emphasized an important new distinction in the green jobs discussion: green jobs are no longer just jobs that have something to do with environmental sustainability. From now on, green jobs must also be good jobs -- with standards such as benefits, occupational safety and health, opportunity for training and growth, and the inclusion of marginalized communities held as imperatives for the green collar economy to succeed. According to the Roundtable, from now on environmental sustainability includes human sustainability.
So where does the Roadmap go from here? One important step is to make sure Plan 2030, New York City's plan to reduce emissions 30 percent by 2030, uses green job creation as a marker of success. Another step is to include environmental education into the New York City public school systems. A final and essential goal is to shift the thinking of labor unions, businesses and the workforce in such a way that green-collar jobs and sustainability are viewed as essential components of economic development, and necessary steps to pulling the city out of recession.
Click here for an article on the environment/economy link in Social Europe Journal.
Click here for the full New York City Green Collar Jobs Roadmap.