Green Workforce Development
The Westchester Green Business Challenge is leading Green Sector activities for the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Investment Board (WPWIB) Business Sector Partnership effort. This collaboration engages local employers in identifying, developing and offering workforce development programs to support a skilled workforce and promote regional job growth, targeting economically distressed communities.
Creating Green Jobs
The WGBC encourages economic growth and creates jobs within the region’s growing green sector economy in a number of key ways:
- Building demand for green projects and services, including energy retrofits & green construction – the WGBC provides a pathway for companies to benchmark their environmental performance, identify opportunities and implement improvements that lead to sustained economic growth for local providers of green products and services. The online WGBC Green Business Directory provides a direct link to local companies that can implement desired improvements and contribute to a greener supply chain.
- Building internal capacity for green jobs – the WGBC helps create and/or retain jobs across industries, since green jobs/skills are dispersed throughout the regional economy, as supported by a 2010 Green Jobs Survey conducted by the NYS Department of Labor. The WGBC’s multi-sector approach to growing the program is essential to measuring and expanding regional green employment. As part of the proposed expansion, the WGBC will be implementing new surveying methods to capture green job employment statistics – including job growth and retention that can be attributed to participation in the WGBC. This data will augment existing data collection efforts currently underway.
- Enhancing the competitiveness of companies by saving money through sustainability improvements as defined in WGBC program resources/certification – with over 30% of energy in the United States consumed by commercial buildings and much of that consumption wasted through sub-standard building systems and outdated mechanicals, the WGBC is well positioned to assist a growing number of commercial organizations address both the cost and opportunity of energy waste. In turn companies are able to reinvest dollars saved into growing their organizations and hiring additional staff and/or retaining personnel to further sustainability efforts.
- Increasing organizational competitiveness as job seekers increasingly prioritize sustainable business practices in places of employment – according to the Workplace Insight survey released by Adecco: “American workers are paying growing attention to companies’ environmental policies and an increasing number report that they would be more inclined to work for green companies.” A recent poll on green employment by MonsterTRAK.com found that 80% of young professionals are interested in securing a job that has a positive impact on the environment, and 92% would be more inclined to work for a company that is environmentally friendly. These statistics support the claim that participation in the WGBC will increase the ability of local employers to attract and retain the most qualified employees. The program enhances the entire region’s “brand” as an attractive place to do business, invest, and grow your green workforce.