by Brianna Crandall — November 26, 2021 — Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency (CASR) awarded $2.1 million in contracts through its taxpayer-supported Climate Protection Fund that will create and expand clean energy jobs.
The six awardees include Community College of Denver, Denver Public Schools, Energy Efficiency Business Coalition, GRID Alternatives, International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Foundation and Mile High Youth Corps.
Grace Rink, Denver’s chief climate officer, stated:
Our vision is to create career pathways and opportunities for people from under-resourced communities. We are working on a just transition to a climate-resilient future for Denver by training and developing a workforce that will be first in line for increasingly high-demand jobs in clean energy.
CASR, in partnership with Denver Economic Development and Opportunity, issued funding to expand equitable access to jobs in the green economy through workforce development and employment opportunities for Denver residents. These entities will provide outreach, education, up-skilling, re-skilling, pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships and on-the-job training.
Awardees will also reduce or eliminate barriers to employment for people from under-resourced communities, people of color, and workers from industries in transition. Individuals who participate in a green workforce development program will have access to quality green jobs with livable wages and benefits from employers. Services and products offered by employers also allow workers to build skills and competitiveness in the workforce.
IFMA Foundation Executive Director Diane Levine commented:
The IFMA Foundation is delighted to be selected to participate in this program which will create pathways to participants’ economic success and provide a platform for individuals to improve environmental quality. Facility managers are key to reducing the carbon footprint of the built environment, driving mitigation of the region’s building emissions. They provide essential climate action leadership by integrating energy efficiency, clean energy, and carbon reduction into the operation of buildings. The work supported by this program will have significant impact on providing jobs, which are in demand, into facility management careers, while at the same time, promoting a sustainable future for Denver.
CASR noted that a green workforce provides a variety of career pathways that directly contribute to moving our city and the built environment toward sustainability and resiliency. This includes current jobs that require new skills to meet green standards, jobs that are in higher demand because of green initiatives, and entirely new and evolving occupations.