WHY GREEN JOBS?
As society prepares to transition to a green economy, we must equip our current and future workforce.
There is a pressing need for a comprehensive career database where today’s students can learn about green jobs.
Environmentalism has grown from the early 1800s policies of conservation to the ideals of environmental justice that we have today. We must embrace these new ideas as we grow the green economy.
Government and nonprofit organizations are yet to come to a consensus. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that green jobs are either:
Jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources.
Jobs in which workers' duties involve making their establishment's production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.
This set of resources will start with a very sharp focus on opportunities in the King County and Washington state areas, but that focus will expand with time.
GREEN JOBS AND SOCIETY
Today, many environmental justice organizations look at green jobs with stronger intention and inclusion of social justice principles. Modern environmental justice and sustainability advocates see green jobs as possibilities for equitable wages and opportunities, and are encouraging policymakers to include these important principles in new and updated policies regarding sustainability today.
This is why we want to bridge the gap by curating a set of online resources that everyone can access and use to not only fully understand what a green job is by today’s standards, but how everyone can succeed in a green economy. These resources will include a thorough database of green jobs and career paths, a career center for resumes, cover letters, and interview tips specifically tailored to green jobs. There will also be a database of pre-professional opportunities intended for teens who want to learn how they can prepare for a green career path. This database will include information about internships, youth development programs, and entry-level jobs that can offer skillsets and experiences that are important for all kinds of green careers.
Green Jobs Game Design
What happened at the Charette?
On November 7, 2020, Sustainability Ambassadors convened students, teachers, corporate learning partners, and game-based learning experts for a 3-hour charrette. The purpose of the charette was to apply game-based learning principles to design an interactive exploration of Green Jobs that would uniquely engage middle school, high school, and college-age students.
We explored definitions of green jobs, issues, and opportunities related to workforce diversity, and a wide range of organizations already working in this area, from community-based environmental justice nonprofits to educational associations, to corporate and government programs.
We used the current Green Jobs Youth Pathways resources developed by Sustainability Ambassadors as a starting point to imagine a much richer interactive experience that would benefit multiple stakeholders including the needs of CTE/STEM teachers and their students as well as employers seeking to diversify their workforce in the context of advancing a sustainable economy.
We asked ourselves how can we design an interactive Green Jobs Youth Pathways experience with equity outcomes front and center?
With the help of Tammie Schrader, a national expert on game-based learning, we built a shared understanding of the value of game-based learning.
We divided into three teams to outline navigation scenarios for a Green Jobs game.
Three Inquiries - Team Breakout Groups
1. Workforce: What are the diversity workforce hiring needs of our local corporate and government stakeholders as we build the green jobs, sustainable economy?
2. Classroom: What are the equity / CTE classroom requirements, lesson ideas, resource needs for career connected learning that would be enlivened by a game-based approach as we build the green jobs, sustainable economy?
3. It's a Game: What are the game-based design considerations for an interactive user experience for Green Jobs Youth Pathways unique to middle school, high school, and college users?
See the FULL PROCEEDINGS
Establish sustainability as a pillar of regional workforce planning by integrating Green Jobs Youth Pathways with game-based, career-connected learning experiences in the middle and high school curriculum.
Lead with equity outcomes front and center and focus where the need is greatest.
Practice sustainable systems thinking (equity, economy, environment).
Build on successful models, resources, and collaborations already in place.
Learn across generations, jurisdictions, and sectors (break down silos).
Track collective impact (collective impact explained)
Communicate the human stories that build broad understanding and support.
INTENDED OUTCOMES - Near Term
1. A Regional Workforce Development Plan that includes sustainability as a pillar and Green Jobs Youth Pathways game-based learning in schools as a programmatic thread.
2. A Professional Learning Community, focused on Green Jobs Youth Pathways and game-based learning. Members of the Learning Community convene quarterly to support collective impact outcomes. Membership includes student leaders, teacher leaders, game design coaches, CTE coordinators, nonprofits, agencies, local government, and corporate partners.
3. A Green Jobs Youth Pathways portal that supports:
Lesson plans on green jobs, equity, and a sustainable economy.
Listing of existing workforce development programs and related resources.
Extensive menu of green job profiles that bring these career options to life.
Problem-solving games, charrettes, simulations, and case studies, grounded in local challenges through a team approach that features the need to understand a wide range of green jobs.
Meaningful connections for students to interact with coaches and for employers to recruit exceptional interns.
Engagement opportunities for employers to invest in mutually beneficial outcomes.
See the FULL DOCUMENT with Next Steps
BASIC EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS
Often times, skills are separated into hard skills, technical and specific, and soft skills, people and work-based. Certain soft skills are universal. These top 8 are important skills to master, no matter what industry you're working in.
Initiative & Enterprise
Planning & Organizing
Future of Green Jobs - Key Readings
As countries adopt more sustainable practices, 24 million green jobs are projected to open up, worldwide, by 2030. Check out these key readings to learn more about the future of green jobs and opportunities within our future’s sustainable workforce.
~ The Century Foundation
~ World Economic Forum
The future of work is green
~ Green Economy Coalition
~ YouthTime Magazine