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Project Title:Developing Green Jobs Curriculum for Workforce DevelopmentInstitution Name:Eastern Connecticut State University Innovation Category:Economic and Workforce Development Project Director:William Leahy, Chief Executive Director of Operations for the Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE)Contact Information:(860) 465-0252, leahyw@easternct.edu Website:http://www.workplace.org/greenup.asp
Project Description:ECSU has partnered with Workplace Inc. on the Department of Labor ARRA grant, ‘Pathways from Poverty’ and provides program design and curriculum for the “Green-Up Bridgeport” job training program. This two year initiative engages 700 unemployed participants from Bridgeport’s 12 most impoverished neighborhoods, providing training to successfully place participants in “Green” jobs. Participants are exposed to hundreds of green job opportunities utilizing four career ladders. These ladders recognize an ascending range of opportunities from entry level jobs to family supporting sustainable careers. The exploratory curriculum is taught over four one week sessions, after which participants progress into placement in their chosen field.
Objectives:
  • Illustrate applications use to: build, renovate, retrofit and manage buildings including energy efficiency and renewable energy; the practices used to maintain landscapes and conduct Brownfield mitigation utilizing environmentally sound techniques; the efficient maintenance of fleet and mass transit vehicles, and alternate fuels vehicles.
  • Investigate job opportunities, training, experience and credentials required for jobs in the following four sectors; green building construction, building energy systems operation, resource management and transportation.
  • To explore the working environment of specific jobs within each industry sector and the impact of Environmental, Health and Safety concerns on the job sites.
Outcomes:

The curriculum piece of the Green-Up Bridgeport initiative was designed by the staff and student interns of ISE to graduate 600 participants through workforce training and job placement assistance. So far over 250 participants have been through the four one week curriculum sessions and 50 completed credential training and are being assisted in finding green careers. There are currently over 100 participants receiving further training and continuing education, which will aid in their ability to enter the workforce as soon as possible. 

A table below is used to track quarterly progress and completion.

Criteria 

 Q1 

 Q2 

 Q3 

 Q4 

 Q5 

 Q6 

 Q7 

 Q8 

 Total 

Number of  participants contacted through outreach efforts

 

200

400

600

 

800

 

 

800

Participants served through recruitment and eligibility determinations;

 

175

350

525

 

700

 

 

700

Number of participants beginning education/training activities;

 

150

300

450

 

600

 

 

600

Number of participants that receive basic education services;

 

85

170

255

 

340

 

 

340

Number of participants that receive support services funded by the grant;

 

37

38

37

 

38

 

 

150

Number of participants completing education/training activities;

 

 

125

250

375

 

500

 

500

Number of participants that complete education/training activities that receive a certificate/credential;    

 

 

100

 

200

300

400

 

400

Number of participants that complete education/training activities that are placed into unsubsidized employment;

 

 

 

87

174

 

262

350

350

Participants that complete training activities that are placed into training-related unsubsidized employment;

 

 

 

80

160

 

240

320

320

Participants placed in unsubsidized employment who retain in the 1st and 2nd quarters after placement.

 

 

 

 

 

92

184

275

275

 

Challenges/Problems Encountered:Challenges encountered include: many participants do not have a high school diploma and must be enrolled in GED program. Many participants require tutoring in math and language skills, to gain recommended skill levels in courses required for entry level positions and internships. For many participants, it was difficult to deal with the time commitment needed to obtain a job that offers wages to support their family. Often participants become very disconcerted when they realized the duration of time required to obtain and maintain a new career. 
Evaluation Approach:Starting with Orientation, participants compile a client profile tracking their progress through the Green-Up Bridgeport program. The profile tracks them through the exploratory phase, basic employment training, credential training, placement and the first 180 of employment. The DOL requires the Workplace to focus its evaluation on tracking: obtaining credentials, job placement and job retention. Software known as Effort to Outcomes is used by program managers as a means of evaluating the program.
Potential for Replication:The DOL Pathways for Poverty ARRA competitive grant was designed to create replicable models to be shared nationally.  The Green-up Bridgeport program was one of 30 proposals to receive a grant from DOL from over 600 applicants. Green-up Bridgeport is specifically designed to be a model for a post-industrial impoverished community with high unemployment, interested in creating a stronger “Green” economy.
Additional Resources: http://www.sustainenergy.org 
CEO-to-CEO Contact:Elsa M. Nunez , Presidentnunez@easternct.edu
(860) 465-5221
Date Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2011