Report: Apprenticeships can drive inclusive clean energy economy

The ILR School’s Climate Jobs Institute will share its new report, “Building an Equitable, Diverse and Unionized Clean Energy Economy: What We Can Learn from Apprenticeship Readiness,” at an in-person and online event on Nov. 30 from 8:30 to 11 a.m at the Cornell ILR Conference Center in midtown Manhattan.

The event is free and open to the public.

“The Climate Jobs Institute report addresses a core aspect of tackling the dual crises of climate change and inequality: ensuring that diverse individuals and historically underserved communities are included in the shift to high-quality, clean energy careers through union jobs,” said Lara Skinner, executive director of the institute.

“The work of our team shows that there are model programs across the U.S. that create pathways for underserved communities into apprenticeship readiness, union apprenticeship programs, and ultimately, good union careers,” she said.

With funding from the 2030 Project: A Cornell Climate Initiative, the Climate Jobs Institute has outlined new opportunities for future workers. Cornell is also prioritizing opportunities for faculty to make an impact in order to accelerate tangible solutions in this decisive decade for climate action.

“It’s critical that clean energy jobs be high-quality and inclusive of a diverse workforce,” said Ben Furnas, executive director of the 2030 Project. “This new Climate Job Institute report shows that pre-apprenticeship programs prepare workers for good-paying careers and help ensure equitable access to these jobs for frontline and marginalized communities. We are very proud to have been able to support this work.”

Nov. 30 speakers include: New York State Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-Queens), chair of the Senate Committee on Labor; Nicole Bertran, the Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills; Chynna Hampton, Climate Jobs Illinois – Illinois AFL-CIO; Gary LaBarbera; Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York; Ken Nim, CityBuild, San Francisco; Jay Rowell, HIRE360, Chicago; Nicole Schwartz, TradesFutures, and report authors Zach Cunningham and Melissa Shetler, both of the Climate Jobs Institute.

Panelists will share insights from CityBuild in San Francisco, HIRE360 in Chicago and the Apprenticeship Readiness Collective in New York City.

Mary Catt is communications director for the ILR School.

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Adam Allington