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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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2012 Sustainability Plan — Appendix A

2012 Climate Change Adaptation Plan

Since more than 99 percent of the Department's buildings are on 125 Job Corps Center campuses across the Nation, the Climate Adaptation Plan focuses substantially on Job Corps goals, strategy, and approach to climate change adaptation.

Background

When planning for the influences of climate change, Job Corps recognizes that the problems are numerous and intractable. The main problems are:

  • How can Job Corps recognize a first, second, third, or fourth encounter with climate change? How do we recognize effects of climate change among other natural and manmade forces that influences our operations? How does a whole-Earth problem scale to Job Corps?
  • How will climate change push the borders of our expectations of extreme events? How can we see an extreme event with enough time and resources to react in a meaningful way?
  • What role can Job Corps play as a local community member and as a federal partner in responding to events that may be climate change-based, such as flooding, fires, and hurricanes?

Although Job Corps is working diligently to reduce overall carbon footprint and to strengthen planning to address climate-based events such as flooding, fires, hurricanes, and the like, Job Corps believes a unique strength lies in its role as a community member and federal partner positioned to provide trained young adults who volunteer to provide assistance. Over the years, Job Corps students have been involved in fire-fighting and other disaster management efforts all across the country. Recently, for example, students from five Job Corps centers in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and West Virginia have provided assistance to veteran fire teams to fight fires in Arizona. The students are from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Serviceoperated centers with career technical training programs in fire and emergency services. As an education and training program, Job Corps continues to train young Americans interested in careers in emergency management, in keeping with Job Corps' mission to attract young adults, teach them relevant skills needed to become employable and independent, and help prepare them for success in life by securing meaningful jobs or opportunities for further education.

Climate change may influence Job Corps' mission in three foreseeable ways:

  1. Create opportunities for sustainable, low greenhouse gas emission careers in renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency.
  2. Threaten the health and safety of Job Corps students through an increase in disease vectors and potential northern migration of warm climate diseases.
  3. Lead to an increase in extreme weather events that may threaten Job Corps students and staff and disrupt the ability of Job Corps facilities to meet their function.

Another unique Job Corps strength is its advanced programs in low greenhouse gas emission careers with technical training in smart metering, solar technologies, and weatherization. The future job markets for these and other greenhouse gas-related careers will determine how Job Corps shifts its training programs moving forward.

Additionally, unlike most other federal agencies, the Department of Labor is responsible for the health and safety of a residential population of Job Corps students located on 125 operating Job Corps centers. Diseases and their vectors will spread to areas in which they are not currently present. There is evidence to implicate climate change as a catalyst for such threats to migrate. For example, in the past few years, bedbugs and the Asian Tiger Mosquito have spread across wide portions of the United States where they were previously not endemic. Job Corps' health and wellness programs, nationally and locally, strive to maintain awareness of such threats and provide preventative guidelines and responsive actions as appropriate. Finally, Job Corps recognizes Earth Week annually during the month of April. In 2012, Job Corps students and staff received information and guidance pertaining to climate change, and conducted climatechange related activities on Job Corps centers during Earth Week. Job Corps' ongoing green initiative, Earth Day Every Day, involves students and staff in ongoing programming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Affect of Climate Change on the Department Achieving its Goals

1. Three agency strategic goals.

  • Increase workers' incomes and narrow wage and income inequality. For Job Corps, the performance indicator is average wage of placed graduates, subject to economic conditions.
  • Assure skills and knowledge that prepare workers to succeed in a knowledge-based economy, including high-growth and emerging industry sectors like"green" jobs. For Job Corps, the performance indicator is percent of students who attain a GED, High School Diploma, or career technical training certificate by the end of the third quarter after exit from the program.
  • Help workers who are in low-wage jobs or out of the labor market find a path into middle-class jobs. For Job Corps, the performance indicator is percent of Job Corps participants entering employment or reenrolling in post-secondary education and/or advanced training/occupational skills training in the first quarter after exit from the program.

2. Climate change impacts that may significantly impact the agency's ability to meet each of the above-identified goals.

  • Flow effects on rivers (increased vulnerability of Job Corps centers situated near rivers)
  • Increased frequency of coastal and riverine flooding
  • Insufficient water supplies (during drought conditions)
  • Increased runoff (Job Corps campuses must manage increased runoff)
  • Increased wildfire (campus vulnerability to wildfire, especially in remote areas)
  • Loss of crop yields (available/price of food)
  • Increased risk of injuries, illnesses, and death (during emergency events)
  • Increased risk of heat-related illnesses and deaths (during extreme heat events)
  • Changes in efficiency of some transportation modes (risks to air, road, and rail transportation - delays or shutdowns that effect moving students to and from centers)
  • Increased demand for cooling; reduced demand for heating (increased demand for cooling raising energy use demand; facility management adaptation)

Any of the above effects may impact DOL/Job Corps' goals of training students and producing program graduates. As Job Corps campuses and services to students are impacted or delayed, Job Corps outcomes are impacted, affecting the major goals and objectives for the program.

3. Steps that have been taken to manage the effects of climate change on the selected goals/objectives.

  • Career technical training for students in fire-fighting and medical career trades
  • New and developing training in low greenhouse gas-related trades
  • Facility-based initiatives to lower GHG emissions (energy use intensity; water use intensity; use of renewable energy; use of recycled and local materials; building and rehabilitating facilities to sustainable standards
  • Behaviorally/culturally based initiatives on Job Corps campuses, such as use of organic and locally produced food
  • Baseline measures and setting reduction goals for energy, water, petroleum, waste, and other resources
  • Policies, procedures, and tools to develop and support a "green" infrastructure systemwide

DOL Climate Change Adaptation Plan

1. JobCorps Actions

Action

Scale (National, Regional, Local)

Completion Date

Collaborating Agencies (if applicable)

Continuously conduct nationwide crossagency real property assessment to consolidate and co-locate Department employees into existing offices with priority of reducing cost and carbon footprint (which includes all climate change mitigation considerations)

National

Ongoing

GSA where appropriate

Analyze and list Job Corps Centers where climate change impact has occurred and determine possible actions to address relevant center structures

National

Ongoing

USDA where applicable

Address community shelter capability at Job Corps centers subject to high risk climate change impacts

National

Ongoing

USDA where applicable

Situate new Job Corps center structures on selected sites accounting for climate change risks

Local

 

 


2. Working with other Federal Agencies on Climate Change Adaptation

a. Federal agencies likely to face similar climate change impacts and management challenges.

Agency

How Climate Change Management May Be Similar

U.S. Department of Education

  • Ensuring safety and well being of students and staff during climate-based events and emergencies
  • Continuity of operations for education during and following climate-based events
  • Involving and training youth to actively participate in reducing climate change impact and implementing related programs that are behaviorally based
  • Involving and training youth to actively participate in emergency preparedness programs and respond to emergency or hazardous conditions

U.S. Department of Homeland Security/FEMA

  • Providing emergency or hazardous condition preparedness planning/resources
  • Providing critical response to emergency or high-risk conditions/events
  • Providing post-event assistance, basic provisioning, mitigation, cleanup, housing, etc.

U.S. Department of Defense/ National Guard

  • Providing personnel, planning and assistance to communities before, during, and after emergency/high-risk events

b. Continuing current collaborations with other agencies to develop strategies to adapt to climate change impacts.

Agency

Existing Collaboration/Project

U.S. Department of Energy/FEMP

Through carbon footprint reduction tools and strategies, Job Corps works within the DOE/FEMP/CEQ framework to help reduce climate change effects

General Services Administration

Through carbon footprint reduction tools and resources, Job Corps works to continue and advance carbon footprint reduction activities

USDA Forest Service

Job Corps' federally operated centers (Civilian Conservation Centers), operated by the USDA Forest Service, work closely with DOL to establish health, safety, and emergency planning and responses.


c. Considering possible new collaborative activities with other agencies for adaptation planning.

Agency

Potential Collaboration/Project

National Institutes of Health

Explore information, resources, tools, best practices, and planning strategies to assist Job Corps in planning and implementing preventive and response actions for emergency and high-risk events, including disease and illness linked to climate change.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security/FEMA

Leverage resources to assist Job Corps in planning for the safety and welfare of students during and emergency/high-risk events; expanding additional programs for student participation/involvement in FEMA assistance activities.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Explore programs to educate students and staff on the causes and effects of climate change as drivers for behavior-based change.

U.S. Department of Education

Explore programs and planning for best practices, as appropriate.

U.S. Department of Defense/National Guard

Determine most effective strategies for emergency and postemergency planning; expand additional programs for student participation/involvement in National Guard support activities.