Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Sustainable Pittsburgh Selected As 1 Of 10 Nationally To Advance To Phase 2 Of Quality Green Jobs Training Regional Challenge

 Jobs for the Future and the Ares Charitable Foundation have chosen Sustainable Pittsburgh as one of ten organizations across the United States to advance to Phase 2 of the Quality Green Jobs Regional Challenge

This selection supports Sustainable Pittsburgh’s efforts to convene stakeholders toward expanding training programs and employer connections, reducing barriers to employment, and improving visibility of green jobs and ecosystem connectivity.

“Together with partners, we are building the economy of tomorrow, a regional economy that helps us address the urgency of climate change while working to ensure everyone has the opportunity to participate, thrive, and reach their full potential,” shared Joylette Portlock, Ph.D., Executive Director of Sustainable Pittsburgh. “Receiving national recognition for a second time underscores the importance of the work we are undertaking here in southwestern Pennsylvania.”

Last July, Sustainable Pittsburgh earned a spot in the top 20 out of 101 applicants across the country for the first phase of the Quality Green Jobs Regional Challenge.

Sustainable Pittsburgh is once again teaming up with Partner4Work, a $25+ million integrated workforce development organization dedicated to strengthening Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. 

Through collaboration with more than 100 partners, Partner4Work connects thousands of adults and young adults to training and employment opportunities every year. 

"We are excited to partner with Sustainable Pittsburgh in the development of a Regional Quality Green Jobs Agenda, ensuring that individuals can move into high-quality, family-sustaining clean energy jobs through existing and new recruitment and training pipelines," said Robert Cherry, Partner4Work CEO.

During Phase 1 of the Quality Green Jobs Regional Challenge, Sustainable Pittsburgh’s work as an anchor institution included in-person convenings, building collaborations, and determining gaps in the regional ecosystem. 

For Phase 2, Sustainable Pittsburgh will work closely with partners to develop a specific, scalable strategy for training individuals and placing them in quality green jobs. 

“Sustainable Pittsburgh’s work complements the City’s efforts in its White House-appointed role as a Workforce Hub,” shared City of Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey. “Partnerships such as this are critical for ensuring residents have equitable career pathways resulting in good jobs with family-sustaining wages.” 

Equitable workforce development, particularly in the clean energy sector, is a critical next step to ensure rapid decarbonization – the reduction of carbon emissions from human systems and activities – in southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Connecting individuals from historically under resourced or disadvantaged communities to opportunities for good paying, clean energy jobs ensures all of southwestern Pennsylvania is benefitting.

“There are many structural, systemic issues that are preventing potential workers from employment in clean energy including barriers that are logistical, financial, and educational. Examples include access to transportation, financial support for training, and childcare needs,” said Portlock. 

“We are strengthening structures and partnerships to overcome these barriers, to meet this moment when we are seeing unprecedented federal investment opportunities and rapid growth in clean energy jobs.”

Clean or green energy jobs are found in a variety of sectors, including construction, manufacturing, trade, professional and business services, and utilities. 

According to the 2023 Clean Jobs Pennsylvania Report, there are more than 96,000 clean energy jobs in Pennsylvania and nearly 20,000 in southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Clean energy jobs are growing one and a half times faster than the rest of Pennsylvania’s economy and cover employment in solar and wind energy, low-impact hydro power, energy efficiency, electric and hybrid vehicles, hydrogen and fuel-cell vehicles, clean energy storage and smart grids, among other categories. 

For the Phase 2 portion of the Quality Green Jobs Regional Challenge, Sustainable Pittsburgh is also partnering with, among others, Catalyst Connection, Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Clean Energy Center, Community College of Allegheny County, Energy Independent Solar Solutions, Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance, Landforce, PA Foundation for Fair Contracting, Pittsburgh Technology Council, and Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh.

For more information on programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the Sustainable Pittsburgh website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates. Like them on Facebook, Follow them on TwitterClick Here to support their work.

To learn more about green innovation in the Pittsburgh Region, visit the Pittsburgh Green Story website.

Related Articles - Climate/Clean Energy:

-- DEP Recommends 6 Major Legislative Proposals Be Adopted As Part Of 2024 PA Climate Action Plan  [PaEN]

-- New DEP Tools: Energy Funding, Assistance Finder Tool Available For Environmental Justice Communities, Organizations; Equitable Climate Action Program Development Tool  [PaEN]

-- Sustainable Pittsburgh Selected As 1 Of 10 Nationally To Advance To Phase 2 Of Quality Green Jobs Training Regional Challenge  [PaEN] 

-- Feb. 28 Webinar: Meet Local Experts Making Our Communities Sustainable  [PaEN]

[Posted: February 21, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

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