DEMAND AND SUPPLY OF LOW-SKILL WORKERS IN THE “GREEN ECONOMY” IN BALTIMORE
Project: DEMAND AND SUPPLY OF LOW-SKILL WORKERS IN THE “GREEN ECONOMY” IN BALTIMORE
Sponsor: Annie E. Casey Foundation
IPS Staff: Marsha R. B. Schachtel and Abby Sheehan
Purpose and Approach
The Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) is interested in expanding entry-level job opportunities for residents of Baltimore, and East Baltimore specifically. Workforce “pipelines” have been established in the construction, health care, and biotechnology sectors, and additional work is underway with the financial services and hospitality sectors. Many of the prospective workers in all these fields lack basic literacy and workplace skills, and may face barriers that include former incarceration and substance abuse. The foundation is interested in jobs in the growing fields of renewable energy and environmen-tal technology for these individuals while they are receiving training and help in overcoming some of their employment barriers. Jobs in environmental assessment (lead paint, energy inspections) and re-mediation may hold promise; this strategy is being explored as part of a national “emerald city” initia-tive supported by AECF.
Last year’s work focused on definition of potential “green” sectors (in collaboration with the national research team), assessment of demand for workers in those sectors, conceptualization of what needs to be done to prepare these workers and link them to employers, investigation of initiatives in other cities (drawing on the work of a national research team and broadening the search), creation of an inventory of initiatives already underway in Baltimore and the capacity of sponsoring organizations to take on these tasks, and options for implementation.
This year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act presented immediate construction invest-ments that could create jobs in “green” sectors – weatherization and energy-efficient retrofitting in par-ticular. IPS’ work focused on understanding the opportunities and restrictions in the bill and other federal regulations, and the policy steps that needed to be taken at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure maximum local hiring. IPS worked with advocates such as the Job Opportunities Task Force and elected officials to provide examples of policy and contract language to accomplish this goal, and to help promote the availability of funds to the local contractor community
Results and Publications
Testimony, City Council Resolution CC 088-077R “Baltimore City Green Collar Jobs Creation Coali-tion,” April 3, 2009.