In 2008, I co – founded The High Desert Region Green Jobs Initiative with Linda K. Jones. The founder of Green for All, Van Jones was a large part of our inspiration. Van Jones went on to join and then leave the Obama administration. I waited for his return and that he did at the Netroots Nation conference in July. At the conference, he gave a keynote address and an interview. His message: Love Harder. In the face of conflict, sometimes we have to fight, but our focus should be on creating change and showing people there is a way through the conflict. He said we now are walking the road from hope to change; that change is harder than hope. He said DC will become more gridlocked and we must work in communities and love harder. It is a message of collaboration, positivity, focus, wisdom and hope on this path to creating meaningful change.
Archive for the 'Green Jobs' Category
President Obama has asked for huge change as we convert to a green economy. In my work promoting green workforce development, I am realizing that we are asking organizations and individuals to change in fundamental ways. So, our work is not only to create the green workforce of today and tomorrow, but also to help transform our institutions so they can be responsive to the needs of the green economy. What are these needs: to act with speed, to bring environmental considerations into our analysis of the nation’s economic health and viability, to work collaboratively in order to assure 360 degree thinking, to be comfortable with risk and to think creatively in ways have not been supported in the past. Along with the speed required, we must have patience, so that change is accepted and people and organizations have what they need to make it happen.
The Obama administration’s stimulus package for green jobs is a lot more than it appears to be. On the surface, it is a means to stimulate the creation of green jobs. If you look carefully at the requirements for receiving the money, it is also a means for creating speed, requiring collaboration, jump starting public/private partnerships and mandating transparency and accountability. Here in the High Mojave Desert of southern California we have created The High Desert Region Green Jobs Initiative. The requirements for obtaining stimulus funding are reshaping, very quickly, the way we work. We hope not only to create jobs but to maintain a lasting, productive collaboration that will build the local green economy for years to come.
As the United States creates the green economy, we can help our youth. Youth can be engaged in the important issues our country is grappling with and find a fulfilling career pathway. We have a marvelous opportunity here. To do this well, youth need a voice. Our youth are ahead of us they “get” green and many of them are engaged. Let’s get youth talking about solutions to the energy and environmental challenges our world faces. They have the creativity, ingenuity and energy to help us through.