Green Collar Job Training Curriculum Announced in Washington, DC

Green Builders Council of DC

On August 20th, Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, Councilmember At-Large Kwame Brown, and the Green Builders Council of DC unveiled a green collar job training curriculum for the local construction industry. This curriculum will train students and workers in DC public schools, apprenticeship programs, and training facilities to be skilled in the following areas:

  • Recognizing the challenges that construction presents to the environment
  • Understanding the life cycle phases of a building and their impacts on the environment
  • Identifying eco-friendly alternatives to conventional building practices and understanding the costs and benefits of those alternatives
  • Understanding the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating process and being able to apply construction practices that contribute to a building’s LEED rating.

Upon successful completion of this curriculum, participants will earn industry-recognized credentials that can help them gain employment at green building projects in DC.

The Green Builders Council of DC and National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) commissioned the Sustainable Facilities and Infrastructure Research Team of the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech University to develop this curriculum.  It has been endorsed by the U.S. Green Building Council and Green Advantage.

This announcement is also a manifestation of the work of DC’s Green-Collar Jobs Advisory Council, which was created in 2007 by Mayor Fenty to determine how the District of Columbia could better prepare its workforce to participate in the green-building boom.  Also of note, Washington, DC has a law (the Green Building Act of 2006) which requires all publicly-funded (and eventually all privately-funded) new building construction in DC to meet various LEED requirements.

According to an article in the Washington Business Journal, the new curriculum will be taught beginning this September at the Academy of Construction & Design at Cardozo Senior High School, with more than 100 students expected to take the course in its initial year.

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Green Collar Jobs Highlighted by MarketWatch

What Is a Green-Collar Job, Exactly? is a recent TIME article that explores green collar jobs.  The article includes a review of definitions of green collar jobs and has an interview with Phil Angelides, chair of the Apollo Alliance.

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