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Green Jobs Summit at Greenbuild 2011 Calls for Mobilization around this Common Sense Economic Solution

Published on Written by Posted in Advocacy and policy

The hustle and bustle of Greenbuild 2011 is now behind us, and we've all returned to our respective homes and jobs to continue "troublemaking."

And one area where we need to continue to stir the pot is green jobs. On the Tuesday of Greenbuild, we convened a Green Jobs Summit of more than 40 prominent experts throughout the clean energy economy to brainstorm the successes and challenges experienced in the promotion of the green jobs agenda.

The Opening Session of the Summit highlighted several keynote speakers who represented a range of stakeholders, including Ken Neumann, National Director of Canada for the United Steelworkers, Bob Peck, Public Buildings Service Commissioner at the U.S. General Services Administration, and Dan Esty, Commissioner at the State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. They each outlined the successes to date that they have observed in their respective roles, and also the opportunities for further action.

The eight breakout sessions illustrated that all professionals have a role in this movement. Whether you work locally or globally, in tech or communications, as a skilled laborer or a financial executive, the Green Jobs Summit demonstrated the uniquely important roles of all of these stakeholders. View the session topics and speakers here.

Eco-entrepreneur Majora Carter capped the Summit with an inspirational and motivational call to action. By expertly weaving her personal experiences and "ah ha" moments into her greater message, each attendee internalized her amazing life story and realized that they too could do more, be more and affect real change.

Yes, "green jobs" is a nebulous term (even a flashpoint in certain circles where hanging on to the status quo, old economy jobs, is a full time job in and of itself), but we troublemakers can all agree on this: No matter your job description, professional level or geographic location, YOU contribute to this important movement. YOU are the living proof that green jobs are real and thriving. YOU are the champions for change in our government and beyond.

Though the Summit is over (until next year), green jobs remain perpetually topical and timely. The President's American Jobs Act outlines a plan for rebuilding our nation's infrastructure and modernizing America's underperforming schools. These campaigns would create hundreds of thousands of jobs and underline the importance of energy conservation in supporting the economic bottom line. Read more about how the American Jobs Act affects the green building and energy efficiency sector on our website.

Visit the USGBC Green Jobs website for resources and information on the role of green buildings in job creation and economic growth. Also view the recent McGraw-Hill Construction study which revealed that the green building market supports 661,000 green jobs in the U.S.!

We need to work together to underscore that all jobs are critical in our current economy, but green jobs are also about the future — both literally, in terms of new technologies that define our movement, and in the broader view terms of what's next for our society and our planet. Given our troublemaker status, we're the best group of all to move this critical agenda forward.

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    Maggie Comstock made 10 contributions in the last 6 months

Maggie Comstock

Policy Analyst U.S. Green Building Council

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