Initiated in 2008, the Green Collar Jobs Roundtable brought together 170 green employers, unions, workforce development providers and environmental justice organizations to develop a comprehensive policy proposal for jumpstarting New York’s green economy. After a 15-month period of research and discussion, the Roundtable released the Green Collar Jobs Roadmap, a set of 37 policy recommendations to:
- Increase market drivers such as large-scale retrofits, renewables development, local manufacturing and green product development
- Deliver quality jobs to disadvantaged communities by incorporating job standards and community input into public projects
- Build on existing programs by incorporating green skills into current workforce development programs and helping existing businesses green their operations
- Increase cooperation between government agencies to better coordinate targeting of resources toward green job creation
- Collect data so job creation programs can be reviewed and enhanced
Since the Roadmap’s release in October 2009, many Roundtable participants have successfully implemented programs that were informed by the Roundtable process and that advance the Roadmap’s core principles. Examples include the Center for Working Families’ precedent-setting state policy victory, which established the Green Jobs/Green New York program to create 14,000 jobs and retrofit one million homes in five years, and the Osborne Association’s Green Career Center, which is on pace to graduate over 130 formerly-incarcerated individuals with certification for green commercial maintenance jobs in its first year.