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Green Jobs for Women

The Women’s Bureau is taking the lead in ensuring that women of all ages and socioeconomic groups are aware of and prepared to succeed in the emerging “green” jobs sector. According to Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, this sector will be a key driver of America’s economic recovery and sustained economic stability. The Women's Bureau is collaborating with employers, unions, education and training providers, green industry organizations, and other government agencies to raise awareness about, expand training options for, and promote the recruitment and retention of women in green career pathways. The Women’s Bureau is seeking to achieve these goals by holding women and green jobs roundtables, hosting teleconference calls about green jobs, developing a publication to provide women workers and workforce professionals with information about green jobs, and sponsoring green jobs training projects. Below is brief information about each of these initiatives.

Women and Green Jobs Roundtables

The Women and Green Jobs Roundtables brought together business and community leaders to discuss opportunities in green job fields, build local partnerships, and identify best practices to recruit, hire, and retain women in green jobs. The first roundtable discussion was held at Department of Labor Headquarters in Washington, DC, on Earth Day 2009. From September 1 to December 11, 2009, the Women’s Bureau convened roundtables in 30 more locations throughout the country, drawing a diverse group of over 1,200 participants. The roundtables connected the dots between diverse stakeholders in the green jobs field and stimulated networking and collaboration that can be continued through a variety of approaches, including list-serves, quarterly follow-up meetings, and coalition development. The roundtable discussions were instrumental in setting the direction for the Women’s Bureau’s green initiative, and the information from the roundtables was used to develop a publication entitled “Why Green is Your Color: A Woman’s Guide to a Sustainable Career.”

Teleconference Calls

Between March and October 2010 the Women’s Bureau hosted a series of seven teleconferences for workforce practitioners, designed to offer information and an exchange of ideas to better connect women with green jobs training and green employment. A fact sheet for workforce professionals accompanied each teleconference.

Topics included:

Why Green is Your Color: A Woman’s Guide to a Sustainable Career

The Women’s Bureau contracted with Public Policy Associates, Inc. and Wider Opportunities for Women for the development of a publication designed to aid in increasing women’s access to high-growth and emerging industry occupations in the green jobs sector nationwide.

“Why Green is Your Color: A Woman’s Guide to a Sustainable Career” will provide women workers and workforce professionals with information on hiring needs and challenges, training and entrepreneurship opportunities, and in-demand and emerging jobs in green industries. National, state and local resources, including women’s organizations and workforce practitioners, will be included in the guide.

Green Jobs Regional Pilot Training Projects

Launched in 2009, the Women’s Bureau’s green jobs training projects were developed in conjunction with experts in green industries and serve as models for engaging and preparing women for a variety of high-growth and emerging green jobs over the next decade. In addition to teaching technical skills leading to industry-recognized credentials through such means as on-the-job training, hands-on instruction, and job shadowing, the projects provided job readiness and “soft skills” training on such topics as resume writing, interview skills, and personal financial management; support services; and assistance in seeking employment. The main goal of the projects was to increase the female participation rate in an existing green jobs training project or to add a green component to an existing training project. In addition to helping women gain the skill sets needed for their chosen career paths, the nine training projects provided valuable lessons and insights that will be useful to case managers, education and training providers, and job placement counselors across the country.