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Think Women in Green Jobs – Women’s Bureau Projects


Region I — Boston

Vermont Works for Women in Burlington, Vermont, developed an on-the-job training program for women in the fields of green construction, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. The program provided unemployed and underemployed women skills related to the installation of solar tracking systems, weatherization, window and door replacement, equipment operation, and energy auditing. The women will use their new skills to improve the energy efficiency of affordable housing units in Burlington, Vermont and install solar trackers.

Region II — New York City

Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx) is a community organization dedicated to Environmental Justice solutions through innovative, economically sustainable projects that are informed by community needs. SSBx created a full-time, hands-on job training program for women in the fields of green roofing and urban agriculture and horticulture which trained and certified women in green roof design, installation, and maintenance; landscaping; hazardous waste cleanup; and related specialties. The training program included a six week internship, as well as formal mentoring. SSBx’s goal was to ensure that 80% of graduates attained employment in a relevant industry within three months.

Region IV — Atlanta

The “Women Going Green” project, contracted with 3D Management Enterprise, Inc., designed and implemented a 36-week training program to educate women on the diversity of career paths available in green industries, including opportunities in green entrepreneurship. 3D Management Enterprise, Inc. produced a curriculum covering energy efficiency and renewable energy industries, how to develop a green business plan, as well as financial literacy and small business skills. The contractor assembled a consortium of academia, business, unions, and Federal agencies to serve as mentors for program participants. The National Association of Women Business Owners and the Atlanta Business League helped to secure mentors for the women in the program.

Region V — Chicago

Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice (DWEJ) in Detroit, Michigan, increased the participation of, and support for, women in its existing green jobs training program through a 14 week training program in green careers. DWEJ recruited and provided women with training in lead, asbestos, and mold remediation; energy audits and retrofitting; deconstruction; environmental site assessment; as well as training for HAZWOPER certification and OSHA 10-hour construction certification. DWEJ partnered with Dillard University to design and deliver the training program and with Detroit Housing Commission and the Detroit Asthma Alliance for recruiting. Among the lessons of this program was that providing extra resources for women helped them to successfully complete the training program.

Region VI — Dallas

Austin Community College (ACC) focused on increasing the participation of women in its energy efficiency and renewable energy industry training programs. Outreach strategies were central to the project and included the development of a Web site and recruitment materials designed expressly to target women. ACC offered two sections of its entry-level solar photovoltaic installer course taught by women instructors, for women, in spring and summer of 2010. The college partnered with Austin Eco Network to reach the target audience through advertising on their online environmental portal. One of the key lessons from the project was that obtaining participant feedback early on was beneficial.

Region VII — Kansas City

The YWCA of Greater Kansas City, YWomen CAN (Career Action Network) and Employ Direct developed a training program to increase women’s knowledge of the types of green jobs available and the skills required for those jobs, and to equip women with the basic skills and training needed to enter occupations projected to be in demand. The training program offered, among other options, energy auditor training, environmental abatement training, and environmental remediation training. Participants who received training or who were looking at starting a business were connected with mentors. Local green community agencies and green training centers were contacted for job leads for training participants. Among the important lessons that emerged from this project was that women should be informed up-front about training program eligibility, requirements, testing/licensing costs, start up costs (tools, clothing, etc.), and job availability.

Region VIII — Denver

The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado created a “Green Jobs Pipeline for Women in Colorado” by designing an outreach and recruitment model to increase the number of women aware of green jobs and the skills needed to prepare for a green career. The Pipeline included a consortium of organizations -- businesses and professional associations, environmental organizations, government agencies, and educational institutions -- who had access to training programs in cities and rural areas throughout Colorado. The Pipeline model centered on technical assistance for the recruitment and retention of women (such as linkages to workforce systems, mentoring, changes in the training programs, etc). The project held informational sessions and distributed a monthly newsletter.

Region IX — San Francisco

Women in Nontraditional Employment Roles (WINTER), a non profit whose mission is to encourage and support women and youth’s training, education, employment and retention in high-wage, high-skill jobs, added a “WINTERGreen” training component. Their goal was to assist women in entering a preapprenticeship and environmental education training program that would lead to a Green Building Certificate and other industry-recognized certificates that would result in employment in the expanding local green economy. The 11-week training program included instruction on safety, HAZWOPER, asbestos abatement, and green building components. A total of six certifications were earned by graduating participants. WINTER worked with green construction organizations and registered apprenticeship programs to refine the curriculum and implement training.

Region X — Seattle

Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. (OTI), in Portland, Oregon, designed an outreach, recruitment, and retention support plan to assist women in pursing careers in the green economy. OTI recruited and trained women to earn a green industry-recognized credential or certification, and assisted the women in identifying employment and apprenticeship opportunities. The training included a pre-apprenticeship program, HAZWOPER classes, and construction safety classes. The green building curriculum was made available for other community-based organizations to use, free of charge. Various apprenticeship programs and employers were partners in this project, and many hosted field trip experiences that informed the women about different industries. One of the key lessons of this project was that support for graduates, such as a peer-to-peer weekly group meeting, was beneficial.