ďWhy is Green Good for Women?Ē Teleconference
March 15, 2010, 12:00pm Ė 1:30pm ET
Coordinator:†††††††††† Welcome and thank you for standing by. All lines will be a listen-only mode for todayís conference. If you would like to ask a question please press star 1. Todayís conference is being recorded, if you have any objections you may disconnect at this time.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I would now like to turn the call over to Ms. Karen Shapiro. Ma'am, you may begin.
Karen Shapiro:†††††† Thank you Kelly. And thank you all for joining us today on our first teleconference about Green Jobs for Women. My name is Karen Hornstein Shapiro and I'm a Program Analyst at the US Department of Labor, Womenís Bureau.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† The Womenís Bureau has contracted with Public Policy Associates Incorporated and Wider Opportunities for Women for the development of a publication called ďA Womanís Guide to Green JobsĒ which is designed to aid in increasing womenís access to high growth and emerging industry occupations in the green job sector nationwide.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† As part of the guide we are also coordinating seven teleconferences and/or webinars to go along with the guide which will provide workforce practitioners with information on hiring needs and challenges, training and entrepreneurship opportunities, and in-demand and emerging jobs in green industries.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† We have some great speakers for you today and are looking forward to what theyíre going to share with us. It is my pleasure now to introduce the new Director of the Womenís Bureau, Sara Manzano-Diaz. Director Manzano-Diaz was confirmed on February 11, 2010 and she comes to the Bureau with a vision of empowering all working women to achieve economic security.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Director Manzano-Diaz comes to us with a strong background of civil rights advocacy and has spent her career in public service advocating on behalf of working class families, women and girls.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† She served as Co-Chair of the Forum of Executive Womenís Mentoring Committee which mentors young professional women as they begin their careers and also participated in Madrinas, a program that provides mentors for at-risk Latina girls to encourage them to finish high school and attend college.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† We are so excited to have her join us both at the Womenís Bureau and on this call. Director Manzano-Diaz.
Sara Manzano-Diaz:††††† Thank you very much Ms. Shapiro for your leadership in assisting me in spearheading this effort and I'm truly grateful to you and to the rest of my staff.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Thank you everyone for participating on this call this morning. It is wonderful to be here with such an exciting group of panelists who have so much to share with us about green jobs for women. I want to take this opportunity to welcome you on behalf of Secretary Hilda L. Solis who happens to not only be our Labor Secretary but sheís also the first Latina ever to serve in the Presidentís Cabinet.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† The Secretaryís vision is good jobs for everyone. In particular though, in reference to what weíre talking about, itís good jobs for all women! Secretary Solis has been a leader in promoting and supporting the advancement of women and communities of color in the emerging green jobs sector.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† As a Congresswoman and recognized leader on clean energy jobs she authored the Green Jobs Act of 2007 which provides funding for green collar job training for displaced workers, at risk youth, and individuals and families under 200% of the federal poverty line.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Under her leadership at the Department of Labor green jobs have become a priority. For example on January 13, 2010 the Secretary announced $150 million in ďPathways Out of PovertyĒ grants as authorized by the Recovery Act. [Editorís Note:† See www.dol.gov/dol/green/ for more information]
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† The grants will support programs that help disadvantaged populations find ways out of poverty and into economic self sufficiency through employment in energy, efficiency, and renewable energy industries.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† The Bureau of Labor Statistics is responsible for developing and implementing the collection of new data on green jobs. FY 2010 appropriations included $7.8 million for this initiative. And today I have breaking news to share with you.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Through a federal register notice published this morning, BLS - the Bureau of Labor Statistics - will solicit public comment on the definition and the approach BLS plans to use in measuring green jobs. The comment period is open to the public for 45 days.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† As you know there is no widely accepted standard definition for green jobs. BLS broadly defines green jobs as jobs involved in economic activities that help protect or restore the environment or conserve natural resources.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† These economic activities generally fall in the following categories: renewable energy, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas reduction, pollution reduction and cleanup, recycling and waste reduction, agriculture and natural resource conservation, education, compliance, public awareness, and training.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† BLS plans to use two approaches in measuring the associated jobs. One, the output approach which identifies establishments that produce green goods and services and counts the associated jobs; green goods and services are classified in certain industries.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And, two, the process approach which identifies establishments that use environmentally friendly production process and practices and counts the associated jobs. You will find all this information on the BLS Web site at www.bls.gov/ and our Department of Laborís green jobs Web site [Editorís note:† www.dol.gov/] as well.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Some of you may not know that the Womenís Bureau is a jewel in the federal government. The Womenís Bureau has worked for 90 years to advance the status of working women since its creation by Congress in 1920, just two months before women achieved their own right to vote. The Bureau has a long and proud history.† [Editorís Note:† www.dol.gov/wb/]
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† As you heard I just got confirmed a few weeks ago and this is actually my fourth week into the job. And I want to share with you my vision for the Womenís Bureau which is to empower all working women to achieve economic security.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Today we have great challenges before us, a recession and for some communities a depression. Women earn on the average 80% of what a man earns. And for African Americans and Latinas, as you know, the gap is even greater. †For African American women, 71 cents and Latinas, 62 cents for each dollar that a man makes.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Many women live paycheck to paycheck as you know. Green jobs is a way that we can help women increase their income and we must make sure that all women are included as part of the recovery, including women of color, and that all women are adequately represented in the ranks of women in green jobs.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Last year to mark Earth Day Secretary Solis along with Nancy Sutley, the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, hosted a national roundtable, Women and Green Jobs. For the first time at the Department of Labor, leading women from labor, business, academia, government, and nonprofit sectors from around the country shared how theyíre shaping our green economy, strategy, and how we can work together to ensure that all women have access to the green economy.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† One of our panelists today, Joan Kuriansky of Wider Opportunities for Women, participated in that roundtable. The Secretaryís roundtable was the Departmentís first step in ensuring that women take advantage of the current and emerging opportunities in green collar jobs.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Using her roundtable as a model and an inspiration, the Womenís Bureau hosted 30 regional Women in Green Jobs roundtables across the country from September to December 2009.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† According to the roundtable participants, lack of awareness and information about green jobs is the key challenge women face. In response, the Womenís Bureau will issue a publication in the fall which will give women information that they need. The publication will be called ďA Womanís Guide to Green Jobs.Ē
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† The Womenís Bureau is taking the lead on ensuring that women of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds are aware of, and prepared, to succeed in the emerging green jobs sector.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† The Bureau is collaborating with employers, unions, education and training providers, green industry organizations, and other governmental agencies to raise awareness, expand training options, and promote the recruitment and retention of women in green career pathways.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Presently the Womenís Bureau has nine regional green jobs training projects which will serve as a model for engaging and preparing women for high growth and emerging green jobs over the next decade.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Oregon Tradeswomen led by Connie Ashbrook, one of the panelists today, is one of our contractors. Oregon Tradeswomen is designing an outreach, recruitment, and retention support plan to assist women in pursuing careers in the green economy.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† This month is Womenís History Month and as the President said in his Womenís History Month Proclamation, "As we honor the women who have shaped our nation, we must remember that we are tasked with writing the next chapter of womenís history."
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† This is what weíre doing here today, helping write the next chapter in the struggle for economic opportunity and security for all women. Thank you so much for participating in todayís call. And now I will send this back to Ms. Cutler-Ortiz, at Wider Opportunities for Women. Thank you all.
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Thank you so much for that introduction. And now I'd like to introduce who we will be hearing from today. Weíre going to have four wonderful speakers today, first will be Jason Walsh of the Blue Green Alliance, followed by Joan Kuriansky of Wider Opportunities for Women, Connie Ashbrook of the Oregon Tradeswomen Inc, and Tara Webb, an electrical apprentice.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Following all the speakers we will have a Q&A, and we will have instructions for that at that point. First let me introduce our first speaker, Jason Walsh at the Blue Green Alliance is the Director of Policy and Strategic Partnerships at the Blue Green Alliance.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† The Blue Green Alliance is a national strategic partnership between labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the green economy. [Editorís Note:† www.bluegreenalliance.org/]
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† During his career Jason has led efforts to develop and win federal policies that invested in low income workers, communities, and the clean energy economy in a range of federal and state workforce development legislation including the Green Jobs Act.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† With that Jason I turn it over to you.
Jason Walsh:††††††††† Thank you Debbie. And good afternoon everyone. Itís a pleasure to be on this call with such a great group of panelists. I've been asked to cover a bunch of ground to discuss definitions and characteristics of green jobs, some job creation estimates, and what legislative vehicles might be coming down the pike to create green jobs so I will apologize in advance for talking quickly.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So let me start by grappling with a definitional question. I don't think itís useful actually to start any conversation about green jobs without first answering this basic question; what is a green job? I'm actually not going to offer one definition I'm going to offer two.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Hereís a definition thatís used by a number of us who advocate for a green economy. Green jobs are living wage career track jobs that contribute directly to preserving or enhancing environmental quality.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† By this definition if a job improves the environment, but doesn't provide a family supporting wage or a career ladder to move low income workers into higher skilled occupations, itís not a green job.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Now I want to be clear, this is quite explicitly a political definition. Itís useful for advocates making the case that attention needs to be paid to job quality and job access if jobs created with public funds will be stamped by us as green jobs and I'll give an example of that a bit later.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Itís also useful for pushing back against those that want to appropriate the green label which is an attractive label, letís be clear, often as part of very well funded PR campaigns.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So this is a useful definition for a number of different reasons but from a programmatic workforce economic development perspective itís really pretty useless to be honest.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† On the contrary I think a very useful programmatic definition of the green economy and green jobs can be found in the O*Net / ETA publication, Greening The World Of Work, which I'm guessing many of the folks on the call have looked at particularly if they applied for the Department of Labor green job training grants for the Department of Labor, I think then their (unintelligible) said you should really read this. [Editorís Note:† www.onetcenter.org/reports/Green.html]
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† That report starts with a definition of the green economy which I actually won't get into for the sake of time, and Sara just spend some time talking about it. But I do want to take a little time to discuss what I think is a very - they provide a very nuanced typology of green jobs within that report.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† They actually break that typology into three different categories of occupations. So the first category is ďgreen increased demand occupations.Ē So this is where the impacts of green economy activities and technologies leads to an increase in the employment demand for an existing occupation.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† But that impact doesn't necessarily entail significant changes in the work, and in the skill requirements of the occupation. So the work context may change but the tasks themselves do not.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So an example of this might be a welder who is welding on the pieces for a - letís say a wind tower. So they are doing that work, they are getting this work because of investments in a clean energy economy but the skills are essentially those of a welder who was soldering together pieces for a submarine.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Second category, ďgreen enhanced skills occupations,Ē and this is where the impact again of green economy activities and technologies results in those significant changes to the work and worker requirements of - and so the actual work and worker requirements change the O*Net in the state or occupational - co-occupation a little bit.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So this impact may or may not result in an increase in employment demand for the occupation, the essential purposes of the occupation remain the same but the tasks and the skills, sometimes the credentials, have been altered.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So an example might be an electrician who has all of the sort of foundational skills of an electrician but they get a NABCEP certification to do PV installation.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Third and final category, green new and emerging occupations, this is where we actually see new jobs resulting sometimes born from existing jobs. An example of that might be an energy auditor for homes, which is an occupation thatís just kind of exploding right now.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So let me use that typology as a springboard to talk a little bit more about some of the characteristics of these jobs. First as the O*Net report suggests most green jobs look a lot like jobs in traditional industries.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Green jobs are not out there somewhere in a sci-fi future, theyíre typically jobs that already exist but which are geared toward green ends. Building a green economy is going to involve some brand new industries and some brand new jobs but for the most part it'll involve transforming the industries and jobs we already have.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Second theyíre often middle-skilled jobs, jobs that require some post-secondary education but less than a four-year college degree. Despite some of the rhetoric out there that frankly is applied even more broadly to the innovation economy, it won't be a handful of scientists and engineers who build this green economy although obviously these are essential roles.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† It'll be pipe fitters and machinists and technicians. These are good middle class jobs and very importantly they are accessible to many low income, lower skilled workers, a disproportionate number of whom are women, as long as they get the right training of course and the right connections to employers and to unions.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Third, many green collared jobs - green jobs are going to be difficult to off-shore. Youíre not going to ship a home to China, retrofit it, ship it back. Much of this work is about shaping and reshaping our built environment; these are not jobs that are going anywhere. And in our present age of big layoffs and 10% unemployment thatís significant.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And fourth the job creation potential of the green economy is really enormous. Investments in a green economy create more jobs than investments in a fossil fuel-based economy. Thatís just the bottom line; a broad range of studies demonstrate that the renewable energy sector generates more jobs per megawatt of power installed per unit of energy produced per dollar of investment than the fossil fuel-based energy sector.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† It just takes more work to manufacture and install and maintain your energy sources than it does to extract from them the earth and process them. In addition the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries buy a greater percentage of that component parts and finished goods domestically.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And with energy efficiency jobs the amount of work that goes into making a building more efficient is exponentially more than the work that goes into letting it waste energy which is typically no work at all.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So for all of these reasons I think itís fair to say that building a green economy represents not just a shift from a fossil fuel-based economy to a clean energy economy, it also at the same time represents a shift from a fossil fuel-based economy to a skilled labor intensive economy.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Let me give you a concrete example of the job creation impact. A very extensive analysis done by the Political Economy Research Institute last year, and they used the same input/output model the Department of Commerce uses, found that investments in clean energy will create over three times as many jobs as investment in fossil fuel industries.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Now assuming new investments in clean energy reduce the same amount of spending in the fossil fuel industry which is actually a pretty conservative estimate a $1 million investment creates a net of 11.4 jobs.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† That means that if we invest $150 billion, around 1% of US GDP in clean energy. And this by the way is - it doesn't matter if itís public or private money actually most if it will be private. We would create 1.7 million net new jobs throughout the economy.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† The report also found that the jobs created require lower formal - and I emphasize formal - educational credentials. Now itís generally the case that there are significant differences among low credentialed jobs in terms of their possibilities for advancement. In their 2005 book, Moving Up or Moving On: Who Advances in the Labor Market?, Harry Holzer, whoís known to many of us, and his colleagues provide a pretty systematic examination of what kinds of jobs provide low income workers with decent earnings growth.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† That earnings growth is much better in sectors like construction and manufacturing and transportation where wage levels - you need them to be opportunities for job training and advancement are more widely available in the economy as a whole. These are also the sectors in which the most jobs that result from investment in clean energy are going to be created.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Now that said, the fact that we can create a significant number of jobs in these sectors does not mean that we have solved the challenges of job access, job advancement, job quality. I mean, listeners on this call will have no doubt noted that I just listed off three industry sectors where women are underrepresented as a percentage of the workforce, often dramatically, so these are male-dominated sectors.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† What this means I would argue is that advocates for the green economy and the policy makers that are shaping it really need to be intentional and even aggressive in pushing for policy mechanisms that provide pathways of access and advancement for green jobs and green careers.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Let me drill down on the sector where the challenge is greatest which is of course construction. Only 2.7% of workers in the basic construction crafts are women this despite many years of good work from non-traditional employment organizations.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† But women are not the only underrepresented group, though they are the most dramatically underrepresented. African-American workers make up about 12% of the workforce overall, but only 6.5% of workers in the basic construction crafts are African-American.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Interestingly Latinos are overrepresented in the construction workforce as a whole, but they are underrepresented in higher skilled higher paid and safer jobs within the industry.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So let me give you an example of how we tried to address this level of inequity in federal climate and energy legislation which includes large investments in rebuilding and retrofitting our infrastructure thereby creating hundreds of thousands of construction jobs.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And by we I want to be clear, I mean, a coalition of national organizations and Wider Opportunities for Women was one of the lynchpin organizations of that coalition and still is.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† In June of 2009 the House of Representatives passed the American Clean Air Energy and Security Act. In the fall the Senate EPW Committee, Environment Public Works Committee, reported out the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Both these bills and I'm going to be talking even faster now because I realize I'm probably coming up on my time - include a key provision, the Green Construction Careers Demonstration Project that will make we believe the clean energy jobs created with this legislation accessible to the broadest range of workers.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† It allows the Secretary of Labor to target employment and training opportunities in construction to workers and communities who traditionally have had little access to career track jobs with high road contractors in the building trades.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† It does three things, it builds a green career pipeline that mandates a role for pre-apprenticeship programs, and non-traditional employment programs would be included within that, and only the highest quality apprenticeship programs.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† It creates employment opportunities for local communities and workers by requiring qualified local low income workers performed on minimum percentage of construction work hours. It targets women through proxy categories such as displaced homemaker and public assistance recipient. Thereís a very interesting back story here about how explicit we could be that I won't go into for lack of time.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And it utilizes community workforce agreements that establish uniform labor and workplace safety standards and coordinate and reinforce targeted hiring goals and training programs.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† On this last piece, I think a lot of folks on the call know, community workforce agreements are sometimes called project labor agreements are a really good tool to increase womenís participation in the trades by setting goals for employment rates.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And we have a number of both public and private studies that have found that the higher the goals, the higher rates of womenís employment in the sector.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Now look this is our demonstration project and legislation that isn't law yet and may not be for sometime given the mess that is the US Senate. But I think itís a very important model as we make what will be a long term transition to a green economy, and itís one that I think we can adapt and push for in any federal investments that will create green jobs whether in the job fields being considered now by Congress or in the transportation reauthorization bill thatís just around the corner.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I will probably have to stop there because I think I've used up my time. Let me before I close though make a shameless plug for the Blue Green Allianceís National Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference which will be held May 4-6 in DC. If you want more information you can go to www.greenjobsconference.org. And this is the last day for early bird registration. So get on it.
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Thank you so much Jason.
Jason Walsh:††††††††† Sure.
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† And again Jason will be on at the end of our call for questions. Weíre going to turn this over to Joan Kuriansky whoís the Executive Director at Wider Opportunities for Women.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† WOW has for more than 40 years has worked nationally to build pathways to economic security for Americaís women and their families and today is recognized nationally for its skills training models, technical assistance, and advocacy for women workers. [Editorís Note:† www.wowonline.org/]
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ms. Kuriansky has been an advocate on behalf of womenís rights throughout her career and she has led several national and local organizations and has consulted on an international level as well, including Russia and Southeast Asia.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† She has won a number of awards for her national and local level including being named to Women of Vision by the Ms. Foundation and received a Gloria Steinem Award for her leadership in promoting healthcare reform.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Joan will talk to us about women specifically in the green economy and utilize the highlights from your publication that you should have in front of you - Why is Green Good for Women? Joan.
Joan Kuriansky:††††† Thank you. And I do want to thank everyone whoís both listening and speaking on the call, we have a wonderful response in terms of listeners and I think it suggests how pivotal this issue of promoting women and green jobs is for looking at the long term economic security of women and their families.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And I can't tell you how delighted I am to be on the phone as a colleague with both the new and great Womenís Bureau Director and dear colleagues through the Blue Green Alliance and Oregon Tradeswomen.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I think together we represent the kind of partnerships that will be essential as we move forward both government, the community, community job training programs, employers, community colleges all have a role to play in this effort.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I'm so glad that we were able to hear a little bit of the incredible and innovative work that the Secretary and all of her colleagues at the Department of Labor have already undertaken in bringing this issue of promoting green jobs for women into a priority for the Administration.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I think in particular the listening sessions which began almost immediately with the appointment of Secretary Solis speaks volumes about not only the vision of the Department but their willingness to hear and learn from those on the ground. And look forward for that communication to continue.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And I should also say that itís not just in the federal grant programs or the communication that have demonstrated the commitment of the Department in reaching ďunderserved populations,Ē of which women because of the occupational segregation that still plagues women is definitely part of that underserved.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Itís also in the actual language of the Administration in looking at the technical assistance guidance letters to states and all other - and other kinds of things that translate an idea or vision into practical application so really quite delighted to work with you on this project.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† As Jason so well articulated, there really are a lot of jobs in the green sector which are not new per se, but by creating an umbrella or sector that pulls together so many different kinds of jobs with a new way of thinking about these jobs, there are unparalleled opportunities -- at least from our perspective -- to change the paradigm about women and work in this country.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† The emergence of the green sector I think creates an opportunity for women to really be on the same playing field as men from the beginning of the game rather than having to play catch-up and dealing with the cumulative impact of dead end jobs or discrimination in the workplace.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† We know that women are playing an increasing role in the workplace but yet their participation has not been significantly integrated into all aspects of work particularly as it relates to those jobs that offer good wages and benefits, what we at WOW call jobs that pay self sufficiency wages.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† There was a recent report which I'm sure some of you have become aware of Ė A Womanís Nation, which was released by the Center for American Progress and Maria Shriver, which has made clear that today women are representing 50% of the workforce and that two out of every three new entrants in the workforce will be women.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So clearly there is a demand for women to be full players at this point. But without careful attention, as Jason mentioned, the reality is that women will be - continuing to be segregated in dead end jobs without good wages or benefits.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And to bring this home we did a recent analysis at WOW based on some of the data from BLS which demonstrated that 50% of working women are concentrated in only 25 of 504 occupations out - and within that the average weekly earnings are only $573, which is far less than what our self sufficiency standard suggests are the basic minimums for women to be able to take care of themselves and their families.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And there are a lot of reasons why we still see barriers in the workforce to promoting women in jobs that will be high wage and quality. And some of these barriers I think can be challenged effectively as we move into developing strategies within the green job sector.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† But historically some of these barriers have included lack of information about career opportunities and pathways, a lack of basic skills connected to workplace literacy, as well as in the math and science fields, the inequities that women continue to face both in terms of wage parity, even if you are working in the same job as a man whether itís as a doctor or as a carpenter you are less likely to be paid the same, I mean, to be paid the same as a man.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And also there are issues of isolation or sexual harassment that can be found in jobs where thereís such a small percentage of women like those in construction that Jason alluded to.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† There are often inadequate supports and resources necessary for childcare, transportation, and other work related structures - part time work, flexibility - that are required when women continue to be the primary caregivers both at home while also being workers for paid work in the workplace outside of the home.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And there continue to be antiquated and misinformed stereotypes of the nature of work and what is womenís work. So while we have a challenge ahead of us we also have some good news. One is that over the last 20 years there has been an effort to define the kind of work that would be considered ďnon-traditional work for women,Ē - NTOs - Non-Traditional Occupations for women - that will provide some special kinds of resources.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And of note for those of you who may not be aware by federal law the language for non-traditional occupations are those jobs where less than 25% of the workforce are women.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† We have a lot to learn from the NTO movement as we approach the green jobs field because many of these jobs do require the same skills and they will pay better benefits. In fact women who are currently engaged in non-traditional occupations are likely to earn 20%-30% more than they would if they were in more traditional occupations for women.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Yet we see that women are representing only a small percentage, about 2%, of jobs like electricians - important for retrofitting - less than 4% for innovative engineers, 16% for production managers.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† At the same time we know that women are being prepared and are ready to do this work. In the program that was spearheaded by a DOL grant in Ohio, Hard-Hatted Women, they have projected that they have trained and are ready to place women in jobs. Just in the Cleveland area over 280 women have completed training and are waiting for placement, another 110 through the WANTO programs (the Women in Apprenticeship and Non Traditional Occupations programs) have been trained and already in apprenticeships in Cleveland.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And we know that when we put together criteria and strategies to put a focus on increasing womenís participation in these kinds of jobs it makes a difference.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† A study was conducted of the WANTO project, during its heyday which was several years ago, and the study was able to demonstrate how local women were 25% more likely to hold a non-traditional job, even in the years after the intervention of these WANTO programs, than those who did not have the benefit of programs such as those that created support networks, very strategic ways of outreach to get women involved in the field.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And then followed by very strategic ways of both training women and hiring women, and then the strategies put in place to retain women in these kinds of jobs and encourage promotion along career paths in those fields.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† In the material that the Womenís Bureau and we have created as part of ďA Womanís Guide to Green Jobs,Ē we have articulated a number of reasons why women should consider green jobs - some of which we've already talked about, including the fact that the green job sector can provide chances to earn more and that there are a number of strategies which have been put in place which demonstrate that the numbers of these jobs as opposed to what for instance Jason was talking about in the fossil fuel area can really increase the number of jobs available.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† At the same time there are some other points we haven't touched on that I'll just mention. One is that you can start at very many different levels, some just - some of these jobs just require on the job training, others are jobs that will enable you to get a degree at a community college and move into a specific kind of trade.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† The community-based job training programs which we'll hear more about from Connie and Tara are key vehicles. And so whether you are pursing a post-secondary degree or not, there are jobs out here in the green economy.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Also it is really exciting to understand that one can be a worker of any age and WOWís own a pre-apprenticeship training program we have found that women in their mid-50s have been as interested in getting training for jobs and trades in construction, as have younger women coming through Youth Build where the age range is 18-24.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And not only will these jobs provide satisfaction in terms of the important quality of high wages and benefits in many instances but also that some of the anecdotal information we have is that women are really pleased to be able to do work that is going to help sustain and improve the environment. And thereís a certain level of job satisfaction in choosing to be in the green job economy.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So there are many reasons why such jobs are good for women. And at the same time we all have a responsibility to make sure that the strategies are in place to create access to these jobs for women.
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Joan, weíre going to wrap up in one minute.
Joan Kuriansky:††††† There are many strategies that one can undertake in their own community. And just for a few, exploring the building of community-based coordinated efforts to ensure that women are recruited, trained, hired and retained in jobs in the green economy.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Reach out to workforce boards, one stop centers, local employers as they develop plans to implement the Recovery Act in their communities. And make sure that they have a specific plan to reach out to women and girls with measures established to assess their success.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Encourage your city or state to create incentives for employers who would like to receive federal contracts and are willing to make a commitment to hire women. Reach out to the community-based programs that serve women and community colleges that offer career and technical education to build a comprehensive outreach strategy for women.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Nationally we are still working to create policies and programs to advance women in green jobs. Most recently, last week, Congressmen Polis and Delauro introduced HR-4830 the WIN Act, the Women and Workforce Investment Act for Non Traditional jobs, that will establish a new federal grant program to help and recruit women in high demand, high wage, non-traditional jobs.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† With policy makers, funders, and contractors using the opportunities presented in the emerging green sector we feel confident that not only can we begin to eradicate past inequities but we are providing the vehicle for women to really be full partners and beneficiaries of all the green economy can promise to us. Thank you.
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Thank you so much Joan. Weíre going to move quickly to Connie Ashbrook. Connie is the Executive Director of Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting success for women in trades through education, leadership, and mentoring.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Based in Portland, Oregon it is a membership-based, grassroots, nonprofit that brings women into high skills, high wage building construction and mechanical utility trades. [Editorís Note:† http://www.tradeswomen.net/]
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Previous to Connieís 14 years with OTI she had also worked in the trades for 17 years as a dump truck driver, carpenter apprentice, and elevator constructor and was the first women in Oregon to become licensed as an elevator mechanic.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Connie, we really look forward to hearing more about your program and strategies to engage women in non-traditional jobs. Connie. Connie, did we lose you? If we've lost - hello? If we've lost Connie that means we've lost Tara.
Connie Ashbrook:††† Hi, this is Connie Ashbrook can you hear me?
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Yes.
Connie Ashbrook:††† Great. Well I want to thank you Debbie and thank you to the Womenís Bureau and Wider Opportunities for Women for your leadership and for including Oregon Tradeswomen in this teleconference.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And I especially want to thank the Secretary and her colleagues for ensuring that partnerships with community-based organizations and services to women were a strong part of the Pathways Out of Poverty grants.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Today I'll start by telling a little bit about Oregon Tradeswomen and how we got started and an overview of our programs. Our mission is to promote the success of women in the trades through education, leadership and mentorship.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And we were started in 1989 as a support group of women in the trades following the models created by Chicago Women in Trades, Cleveland Hard-Hatted Women, and Tradeswomen Inc in San Francisco.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† We grew into a nine-person nonprofit and then recently to 12 people thanks to stimulus dollars that added to the number of women we are able to train. And we were created to help women and people of color be successful in the building, construction, and mechanical technical utility trades. And we also seek to strongly promote economic gender and racial justice.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† The Womenís Bureau nationally and also the regional office has been very supportive and instrumental in our development and growth and we were WANTO recipients for many years.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So now I'll tell a little bit about all of our programs and then I'll focus in more closely on our pre-apprenticeship programs. We have a program that educates young women about all the career opportunities in the building, construction, and utility trades.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And itís called TOGO, Trades Offer Girls Options. We have a program named TOOLS which is Tradeswomen Organized for Outreach Leadership and Support, which helps tradeswomen advocate for equal representation in the trades including gender justice and racial justice.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† We have our Women in Trades Career Fair which is an annual career fair encouraging women and girls to explore the high skill and living wage careers in the construction trades. Over 1000 middle and high school girls and 500 adult women attend every year. And the focus is hands on workshops taught by tradeswomen role models.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† But the event is also very much supported by our industry sponsors and apprenticeship programs and they host the hands on workshops and itís just a very wide range of career exploration, hands on career exploration that is offered there.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So now I'll talk more specifically about our Pathways Program which helps women get the skills to pay the bills with our free seven-week pre-apprenticeship program.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So our Tradeswomen apprenticeship career class is a state certified pre-apprenticeship program. Itís seven weeks long which includes classroom instruction, hands on training, field trips to apprenticeship programs on job sites, green building awareness, and fitness.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† We strongly target women, which is really essential so that women know that they are welcome and that these jobs are open to them. If women are not targeted then they don't know that theyíre invited and they become overlooked.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† We spend about $15,000 annually on brochures, posters, advertising, career fairs, community outreach so that women do know that they are deliberately being sought after.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† As I said before we have over 1500 women and girls coming to our annual Women in Trades Career Fair. And through our outreach about 900 women a year call us to find out about the trades, 700 women come to our orientations and the fair, 180 women apply to enter our pre-apprenticeship program, about 96 women graduate, and about 50 of them enter trades jobs.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Our pre-apprenticeship program has three really unique elements. Itís one day a week in the classroom brushing up on math and measuring skills, one day a week out in the field doing hands-on work for nonprofit organizations. Itís run like a construction site.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And we have female instructors from industry who are our role models and also the instructors. And a one to five instructor-student ratio means that there is lots of individual attention for the students to gain their skills.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† We do weekly evaluations and feedback on the student performance to industry standards which means that the students graduate with a strong understanding of the expectations of industry.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† One day a week we also go out on field trips to construction job sites, employers, and apprenticeship programs. This means that students are connected to industry; they have familiarity and thus a comfort level. Itís a reality check for industry conditions, what itís really going to be like out there on a big construction site.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And the in kind contribution from industry helps keep our costs low. We are extremely grateful to our industry partners who make these field trips possible. Our strong partnerships and relationships with employers, apprenticeship programs, and unions are really essential to our success and essential to us to get our graduates connected to jobs.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Thanks to the Environmental Protection Agency we were able to add an eight-hour green building awareness module to our training as of Summer 2009.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And it includes introduction to green remediation and green building, deconstruction and material reuse, identifying hidden hazards at Brownfield sites, storm water management, systems design and construction, and installation of green and solar roofing systems, also includes weatherization and energy efficiency which has been a growing sector in the Portland economy and the types of industries that weíre steering our graduates towards.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† The training that we offer, the seven-week three days a week training, is short and intense and compact. Itís relatively inexpensive for us to run and therefore it can be free to our participants and women can fit it into their schedules.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† We provide very strong after-class supports that help retain our women as interested in trades careers and helps support them as they go out to the trades and provides a venue for mentoring and also a chance for them to get together with other women from industry.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So for instance we have a monthly social hour, we have a very strong Facebook presence, and we offer volunteer opportunities for women to get together.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† We also have a very strong policy advocacy programmatic element for tradeswomen to come back as leaders to serve on our board of directors and to help us make sure that the doors are open for women.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And the strong part of our Next Generation service means that girls are feeding the pipeline of our potential students all the time. Working with girls in middle and high school for our girls construction camps, after school programs and last year through WIA dollars we were able to do Building Girls Crew where the girls actually got paid to build garden sheds and fences for community gardens.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So that is a broad overview of our programs. And I would be happy to talk to the audience individually or to send them some more elements of our curriculum, because I think itís an important part of what we do with Oregon Tradeswomen is to help other programs around the country get started, just as our mentor programs around the country helped us get started when we were first getting going back in 1989.
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Connie, thank you so much. Weíre going to move to Tara Webb who is an electrical apprentice, who has worked on wind farms and solar installations. And sheís a graduate of the Oregon Tradeswomen program. She entered the pre-apprenticeship program in August of 2006, after a few years of college and managing a bakery.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And by November 2006 she was working as an electrical material handler and entered the apprenticeship program a year later in 2007. So Tara I would turn it over to you and we'd all love to hear about your experience.
Tara Webb:††††††††††† Well I just want to say thank you for allowing me to come and speak with so many influential and wonderful people that are trying to promote more opportunities for people like me.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So I've been asked to briefly go into what I was doing before I joined Oregon Tradeswomen and that was quite the adventure. I moved up here from Texas and literally moved to Oregon with two suitcases to my name. And from that slowly rebuilt myself to where I am now. And that path started with Oregon Tradeswomen definitely.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Managing the bakery was less than paycheck to paycheck, I mean, even paycheck to paycheck wasn't enough. And just one day happened to catch an advertisement for Oregon Tradeswomen and that sparked a definite interest in me since I never knew women could be involved in the trades in that manner.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† All throughout my education years it was never taught that women could be doing something hands-on and have that ability to succeed and grow in that field.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So for the idea of, the opportunity for me to get in the field and especially other women, got my interest and got me going. Finished the program and was introduced to a series of doors that led me to where I am now.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† They actually got me my first job, my material handler job was because I went to the OTI program. And they were able to coordinate a series of interviews with people in the industry. And from that I first began my career as a material handler.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And from there I'm now halfway through my apprenticeship program, I have another two years to go before I'm a licensed electrician. Without OTI thereís no way I could be where I'm at now. Working with the electrical side of things I've been fortunate enough to have renewable experience.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I wish I could say it was by choice but actually I was placed there just merely upon luck, even though my interest has always been to specialize in renewable energy. I've had a fortunate time of - or fortunate to have the time working with as many renewable projects as I have from five different solar installations and just most recently working on a wind turbine site that had over 70 windmills on the farm.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So itís been extremely strenuous and physically demanding but also mentally stimulating like being able to use my knowledge and my mind and incorporate that with putting together something with my hands and seeing that work and continue to promote throughout its time.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So itís been a wonderful experience and I still come back and always show my gratitude in any way possible to the Oregon Tradeswomen. Without them this would not be happening for me most definitely. So, yeah, thatís a little bit of my story and if anybody has any questions specifically over what I've done and experienced I'd be happy to answer. Thank you.
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Thank you so much Tara. Well with that we'd love to open the conference to questions from the audience. If when we do this you can direct your question to whom you'd like an answer that would be helpful. Weíre going to turn it to Kelly, the Operator.
Coordinator:†††††††††† Thank you. If you would like to ask a question please press star 1. To withdraw your question press star 2. Once again if you would like to ask a question please press star then 1. Kelly Kupcak your line is open.
Kelly Kupcak:††††††† Hi, good afternoon and thanks to everyone on the panel and at the Womenís Bureau for hosting this wonderfully informative event. I work for an organization here in Ohio that does the weatherization training for our HWAP program statewide.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And I was hoping someone on the panel might speak specifically to community workforce agreements and the opportunity there to connect women to jobs in the green collar economy. I know recently Portland did implement one, it does have goals for female participation and thatís really exciting.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And I'm just wondering if thereís any efforts elsewhere that we might look to for some guidance on that best practice and emerging practices, thank you.
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Jason, do you have some insight into other?
Jason Walsh:††††††††† Well, I mean, thereís a wealth of info about communities - hi Kelly by the way. Thereís I think a wealth of info about community workforce agreements and some studies that have been done on some of the effective best practice. And I'm guessing, Debbie and Joan, you've got some of that on your Web site.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Beyond the Portland example that I know Connie worked on, I don't know of other examples that involve federal weatherization funds that have actually developed community workforce agreements, but your question is a really good one and makes me actually want to ask that question of some other folks.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So Kelly if you have my new email address itís firstname.lastname@example.org. Letís keep communicating about that but if anyone has a better answer please jump in.
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Connie, maybe you can offer some insight from your example.
Connie Ashbrook:††† Well I'm not sure where other programs are happening around the country but I would just comment about the clean energy work project thatís being developed in Portland. And itís a really innovative way that is bringing together the contractors who actually do the weatherization, making sure they are hiring community residents who are graduates of pre-apprenticeship programs.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† There are wage standards for and wage benefit and training standards for those workers. And it also includes strong training standards so that the workers are highly trained and the homeowner really benefits because they get a highly qualified worker.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And itís a very innovative way as well for the work to be funded because itís a very low up front cost to the homeowner, because the loans are paid back over time on their energy bill. And actually the studies have shown that the average homeowner will have, after the weatherization, even with the loans will have a $10 a month decrease in their energy costs.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So itís an extremely innovative way to provide lots of wins for community homeowners, government, industry, I can just go on and on. But Derek Smith from the City of Portland has pulled it all together and heís an amazing guy and has really brought all those stakeholders together to make the project work.
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Thank you. Okay well should we move onto another question, another participant question?
Coordinator:†††††††††† Dee Reinhardt, your line is open.
Dee Reinhardt:††††††† Hi, my name is Dee. I'm with the King County Department of Employment and Education. Weíre actually a WIA funded program that does the training the Title 1B training portion of WIA.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I was listening to Jason talk about his definition of green jobs versus Director Manzano-Diazís definition of green jobs and there were a couple of resources that were listed in Director Manzanoís speech that I just couldn't write fast enough and then trying to determine the difference in the definitions between Jasonís definition and hers it was difficult.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Is there a way that we can reiterate that and maybe put it out in an email or something?
Sara Manzano-Diaz:††††† This is Director Manzano-Diaz speaking. I'd like to clarify we have issued a proposed definition in which weíre asking for all to comment on. So this is not something thatís written in stone; this is the proposal that was put out there by BLS as of today.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† You have 45 days in which to comment. And weíre going to take all those comments and synthesize them so itís not an actual definition, this is just a proposed because what weíre looking for is for the public to comment on it.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So right now if you go on our Web site, www.bls.gov/ you will see the reference to this new proposed definition. But again itís proposed, weíre looking for input from the public which is why this phone call is incredibly timely, itís for the rollout of this proposal. So again I just want to clarify the point that this is a proposed definition and weíre really looking for input from the public okay?
Jason Walsh:††††††††† And, Dee, what I was referring to was a report that the Employment and Training Administration with O*Net put out last year. And I'm sure we can figure out a way of sending around a link to that report. [Editorís Note:† www.onetcenter.org/reports/Green.html] I spoke primarily about their occupational typology but they also have a useful green economy definition and a bunch of just lists of occupations as listed in the standard occupational codes.
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Thank you. Next question.
Coordinator:†††††††††† Kevin Woods, your line is open.
Kevin Woods:††††††† Yes hello. This is Kevin Woods, I'm an instructor of engineering at the Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tennessee. And I have been charged with developing some green technology training. And I am looking for any input from all of you on what type of training you all feel is the most timely at the present state of the green economy.
Joan Kuriansky:††††† This is Joan. I think there are a number of different resources that you can look at depending on which trades youíre thinking about. The AFL has a number of training modules that they are promoting in terms of some of the trades related to construction.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† You've got the various entities that make up the community action agencies around the country who have developed very strong weatherization curricula. You have Homebuilders Institute which has developed some very good curricula on a number of different home retrofitting.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And I'm sure Jason has some others. I think as we develop the guide that is sort of the subject of this or the impetus for this conference call. We will make available through that guide a number of resources on the kind of curricula that exists that have demonstrated to be successful in these emerging fields.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Jason did you want to add to that?
Jason Walsh:††††††††† Yeah, I mean, just maybe to state the obvious, I mean, I think the best answer to that question is going to come from your developers and your employers and industry associations and your regional labor market.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† But there are a bunch of good sort of general resources out there as well. I think if you're, you know, a college looking at where to start or trying to decide where to start, the whole broad area of green construction, retrofits, energy efficiency is a pretty safe bet. And I think thatís just going to explode in the coming years in terms of employer demand.
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Okay thank you. Next question.
Coordinator:†††††††††† Tammie Spivey your line is open.
Tammie Spivey:††††† Hi. I am trying to start an all-organic healthy fast food restaurant. I've been working on this now since '07. And I'm in a program down here in Atlanta, Georgia called Women Going Green Business. And I have gotten excellent feedback over the last two and a half years of needing such a thing specifically as it relates to going green but as human beings and our bodies.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I've changed my dietary lifestyle to reflect that. But not just myself but other people that I interview and encounter we - itís only become a lifestyle that is only conducive to our homes in reference to going to the grocery store and preparing meals at home.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And I thought what a wonderful concept and idea as we are in such an age of trying to fight childhood obesity such as the First Lady Michelle Obama with her program letsmove.org. And fighting certain diseases and things that most likely for the most part can be eradicated through our means of eating.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So are there any outlets programs, outreach as it relates to a restaurant and food?
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† I'm not sure who here would be able to answer that. I can say that a portion of the guide for women will address womenís entrepreneurship and provide information and resources for women entrepreneurs such as yourself. And as each section rolls out the Department of Labor will be making that available through emails and on a special Web site.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Is there anybody else who feels...
Sara Manzano-Diaz:††††† Hi this is Sara Manzano-Diaz. I'd like to refer you to my regional administrator in Atlanta who may be able to assist you and provide you with additional information. Her name is Paulette Lewis. And her phone number is 404-562-2336.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And I think that - let her know that I referred you to her with regard to your green business which I think is a fabulous idea. And then she can provide you not only with information within DOL but probably can give you information within the other federal agencies as well, okay?
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Well now thatís a resource you don't get everyday. Okay I think we have time for a few more questions. Letís go one more on the line.
Coordinator:†††††††††† Loretta White, your line is open.
Loretta White:††††††† Hi, I was wondering if you have a place or a couple places to find jobs in this sector? I'm actually a VP Director/Manager level and I've been writing on green technology and sustainability in business for over 10 years. And I'd like to move my career as an unemployed person into the green sector.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And thereís not a lot of places that focus on this and when they do theyíre usually looking to sell education. So I'm wondering if that is on the governmentís Web site or someone can recommend a couple honorable sites and then I have a Part B which is - is there going to be a place for people of my level in these green jobs that you see being developed now?
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Well again I'd like to first say before I turn it over that the guide - A Womanís Guide to Green Jobs - will certainly have resources and information for women at all levels. One of the big misnomers is that people wouldn't be skilled in some other areas and need to obtain these jobs and thatís not true.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So that will be available but more directly and immediately...
Sara Manzano-Diaz:††††† This is Director Manzano-Diaz. One of the things that I would suggest to you are energy companies because right now many energy companies are hiring and that may be a good transition into green jobs. And I would look at the various, depending on what region youíre in in New York I think itís Con-Ed(ison) and Chicago itís I think Exelon.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Start looking at some of the green - some of the energy companies which might be a good way to segue into the green economy.
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Great. Next question.
Coordinator:†††††††††† Linda Colloran, your line is open.
Linda Colloran:†††††† Actually my questions have been answered, thanks so much I appreciate it.
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Oh. Well thatís easy. Okay.
Coordinator:†††††††††† Charlotte King, your line is open.
Charlotte King:†††††† I'm in Atlanta, Georgia and I've been in sustainability and forestry marketing for 14 years. And in answer to the question that was asked a few seconds ago about the VP there are some job sectors that weíre trying to encourage the Department of Labor to promote particularly in some of the natural resource areas like forestry, Ag(riculture), Department of Interior.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† We don't hear about them very much but these are very high paying jobs and theyíre areas that are very frustrated in terms of recruiting women into those areas including transportation, storm water management, so on and so forth.
So to Jasonís comments earlier which were outstanding, I would just really like to hear your comments about including some of these other job sectors which are really going to be important and many of them also have very high level employment opportunities as well.
Jason Walsh:††††††††† Yeah, I mean you make a really good point. We donít talk enough about jobs within water efficiency, waste water treatment, jobs within forestry, you know, those would fit within our definition certainly.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And if we had more time, I mean, thereís a whole conversation we could have about pathways into those jobs. Thereís actually an existing service and conservation core network around the country that to my mind does some of the best work providing those pathways out there.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And if - I'm blanking now but you could go to the core network site and get more information. I don't have it in front of me but I'm sure they can provide you with a bunch of links that can keep you busy on the Web for a while. But thank you for brining that up because itís something that I didn't address specifically in my comments and I think we need to do more of it.
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Thank you. Next question - we probably have time for two more questions.
Coordinator:†††††††††† Meg Vasey, your line is open.
Meg Vasey:††††††††††† Good afternoon to all, thank you very much for putting on this informative seminar. I'm Meg Vasey from Tradeswomen Inc. And as those of us who have worked long and hard to integrate the construction trades with women I'm interested in the comments that Jason Walsh made about the kind of proxy requirements for specifying womenís categories in this pilot program and other ways in which other limitations and other strategies for making sure that women are specifically targeted.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† As you noted earlier that in construction related trades many of which make up the potential in green jobs women are like are 1/25 of the representation in the workforce. And that to improve these numbers and really opened that up is going to take some real hard work.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I know Director Manzano is committed to helping us in this effort but I'm curious as to what sort of strategies Jason and others might envision? Thank you.
Jason Walsh:††††††††† Well thank you for giving me a chance to talk about something I didn't have enough time to talk about on the call. So I mentioned that we went around and around a little bit on the best language to use to define target categories for this green construction career demonstration project.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Our initial proposal was that we actually used the language, you know, individuals for whom construction constitutes non-traditional employment, right, which is language familiar to I think most anyone on the call. We were told that we might run into some Constitutional challenges on that front, in other words we might be brought to the courts.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Now I think thereís probably a very interesting legal discussion, legal debate which we won't get into here, about whether or not we could win that in the courts. But given that we didn't have enough time to get into that debate when we were crafting the legislation and given the nervousness of certain folks on the Hill who just didn't want to engage in that debate, we used what we thought were very effective proxy categories one being displaced homemakers which is an archaic term if ever there was one.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† But nonetheless itís there in law and has been used - itís still being used in a number of different categories from Perkins to the Workforce Investment Act. And then a bunch of different categories, actually the track with the Work Opportunity Tax Credit programs many of which are categories related to public assistance receipts and as we know depending on the type of public assistance, women are in some cases very disproportionately represented within those categories.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Moving forward, a group of us I think want to sort of push this model as I mentioned in my earlier comments wherever we can. And so there are discussions in the US House right now about next iterations of the jobs bill. There are discussions with the folks who are going to reauthorizing the transportation bill.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I mean, I really feel like we have the ability to try to move this in a number of different contexts and itís a strategic conversation that we could have for a while but I'm guessing we don't have the time here. But thanks for asking the question.
Joan Kuriansky:††††† Yeah, this is Joan. WOW has also been obviously working on this issue. And for purposes of these demonstration projects we have talked in terms of proxies one of which is looking at the total income of families and families defined as single parent as well as dual households.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And within that we looked at families whose income did not exceed 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. And I think when you bring this down to the application on a gender level, women would be the majority of those and particularly single heads of households who would be eligible.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Beyond these discrete efforts in terms of establishing ďhiring targetsĒ for demonstration funded projects, weíre also looking at ways in which the [DOLís] Office of [Federal] Contract Compliance [Program] can - in which they have articulated they want to do under this administration look at enforcement strategies under Executive Orders that already exist in terms of increasing the participation of women and minorities in contracts, in federal contracts of a certain level.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Thereís also a great precedent with the Womenís Bureau and the Office of [Federal] Contract Compliance [Program] earlier establishing an approach for mega projects, projects that receive federal funding in conjunction with, actually at that point it was GSA funding, that created incentives and opportunities for a collaboration prior to the award of funds that would result in the increase of outreach ultimately training and hiring of women.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And it is certainly something I think that bears looking at for any of these projects that are federally funded. And I think we look forward to working with the Womenís Bureau and other agencies within the Department of Labor, Department of Transportation is another good example, to ensure that there are some incentives to contractors as well as trying to effect workforce policy through WIA and the One-Stop system.
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Thank you Joan. Connie, I wonder if this is probably a good one to end on. Do you have additional comments?
Connie Ashbrook:† Well I just wanted to remind people that for women with a college education the green jobs - working in a green job really equals job satisfaction but for non college educated women a green job can mean the difference between just making it, just barely getting by and entering the middle class.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And I think thatís one of the reasons why we have so much emphasis on overcoming occupational segregation with the emerging green economy and bringing women out of poverty into the middle class.
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Thank you Connie. And we are now at 1:30 and I would like to thank all of our speakers for their time and expertise and for everybody on the phone for listening. I'd like to turn it over to the Womenís Bureau to tell you how to get more information, listen to this call again in case you've missed anything. And so Karen or Sara...
Karen Shapiro:†††††† Sure, I can give some more information. We should have the transcript of this call, as well as the recorded version of the call on our Web site so keep an eye out on it, it might be a week or two before we get it up there. Our Web site is www.dol.gov/wb/ .
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† So keep an eye out for that as well as for the guide, for the Fact Sheets and the PowerPoint presentation that were sent earlier and then our next Webinar or teleconference which should be sometime in April as well.
Sara Manzano-Diaz:††††† I just want to take a point of personal privilege to say thank you to all of you for your collaboration, for your partnership. We really appreciate it and this is the beginning of our continued relationship and I just thank you to all.
Deborah Cutler-Ortiz:††† Thank you and have a great rest of your day.
Coordinator:†††††††††† Thank you for participating in todayís conference, you may disconnect at this time.