Government Officials, Labor Leaders and Experts Join Forces on Climate Change, the 'Green' Economy, and the Workforce
This week, a diverse group of government officials, labor leaders, climate change experts, economists, and industry representatives came together to discuss California’s climate change policy and the transition to a ‘green’ economy at the annual Building Workforce Partnerships conference, sponsored by the California Labor Federation.
“In a time of economic uncertainty for our state’s working families, the best thing California can do to invest in our people and our businesses is to build and maintain the most highly-trained, highly-skilled workforce in the world,” said Lt. Governor John Garamendi. As Chair of the Commission for Economic Development, Garamendi has led the Commission to develop strategies to boost workforce development and build a sustainable growth economy.
“Climate change can be tackled if committed leaders from both the public and private sectors redouble their efforts,” said Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute, special advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and author of Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet. “Fortunately, California—with an evolving partnership of unions, businesses and individuals—is showing much-needed leadership in the US on renewable energy technology and innovative green policies. The California Labor Federation’s efforts today mark another impressive act of leadership.”
“Our green future will be invented at the local level,” said Van Jones, founder and president of Green For All. “Around the country, we are witnessing community groups, labor unions, government, and businesses taking the lead and collaborating to develop locally-tailored action plans. With good policies and strong investments that prepare people who most need work for the work that most needs to be done, green jobs can fight poverty and pollution at the same time.”
“Building Workforce Partnerships is ultimately about collaboration – only by working together can labor, business, and government address the needs of working families and the challenge of sustainable economic growth,” said Art Pulaski, executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation. “To make the ‘green economy’ a reality, we need to develop a plan to get our workforce training and education up to speed with the ever-changing technology and globalization shifts.”
The California Labor Federation’s annual Building Workforce Partnerships conference is in partnership with the state of California’s Employment Development Department, the California EDGE Campaign, California Apollo Alliance, California’s Regional Rapid Response Roundtables, the UC Berkeley Labor Center and other stakeholders. For more information, visit www.wed-works.org.