Archive for June 30, 2009

Barbara Boxer Falls in Line

Penned by Nick

This morning Solar Richmond hosted Senator Barbara Boxer. Amongst a well-orchestrated public relations production, about 100 attendees from all walks of society milled about and got to know each other.

At a time when folks are wondering “where are the green jobs?”, this place seemed to have all the answers. People were together, training, and envisioning–indeed, realizing!–a cleaner, greener tomorrow.

But after the applause had died down and the press disappeared, I got a chance to sit down with Solar Richmond and hear about how hard it is to really change the world.

The reality of the situation, despite all the applause, was that there’s still a lot of hard work to be done.

Graduates from these programs still find too few career opportunities, and the support structure that surrounds them needs to be reinforced with more than just hard skills training.

As Senator Boxer noted many times, these graduates are our future, and their futures are tied to a cleaner, greener economy.

If we are to truly make an inclusive transition to the green economy, we need to do more to help at-risk citizens from falling into the trap of unemployment.

The self-confidence and sense of satisfaction these kids gain from programs like Solar Richmond is immeasurable. They literally beam out the good vibes. But they also need help polishing off their corporate personas and skills so that they don’t pass the class only to fail the real-world test.

A lack of reliable transporation, credible role models, and access to job opportunities daily reminds us all that it’s not easy to climb up above the fray of broken families, drugs, discrimination, and a broken social support system.

The Obama Administration is investing heavily in next generation job training programs. The programs promise to be premised on partnership, and in the process, bring together a stronger family of organizations in which to raise the next generation of environmental leaders.

Along with Senator Boxer, Solar Richmond, and the Administration, I hope that we all can continue to come closer together to support this vision, and in the process, ensure everyone benefits from a cleaner, greener tomorrow.


June 30, 2009 at 10:32 pm Leave a comment

I’m with Japanese Youth: Connecting the Dots

nick_thumbPenned by Nick

One of the things we reinforce with every candidate is the importance of “connecting the dots” when they interview for a job.

“Reiterate and tie together why they should hire you at the end of every answer,” we recommend.

At times, I’m reminded of how true this advice is in present times.

The NY Times ran a piece that connects the dots between social unrest and unemployment.

Too often we forget to account for the social impact of unemployment in terms of both dollars needlessly spent and lives needlessly stalled or ruined.

Investing in training programs for an “apathetic” generation is the first way to overcome the unhealthy stereotypes that characterize many older peoples views of younger workers.

Frighteningly, age discrimination is rampant worldwide. We see this at present with many employers favoring younger workers.

Until we begin viewing every individual as someone who can contribute to society, we’ll always battle negative social stereotypes and unhealthy social problems.

June 30, 2009 at 6:02 am Leave a comment

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