Goodwill Industry International’s (GII) Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) helps workers build current work skills and develop a current work history to assist in their job search efforts. O’Brien & Company was hired to help develop an internal training program to get GII staff up-to-speed on the latest career options in green building and sustainable agriculture. In partnership with REACH and Seattle Tilth, O’Brien & Company developed five 90-minute training modules about green occupations and their career pathways plus an associated workbook and supplemental resource guide, both intended to build capacity and provide tools for the long term.
The grant funded a “train-the-trainer” event attended by representatives from GII’s six SCSEP sub-grantees around the country, including staff from Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Mexico, Washington, and Arizona. Several of those trained through the grant have reported back their successful application of training materials at local in-service training sessions.
Six Community Days were also held at local SCSEP sites with strategic partners to identify community-specific green job opportunities. In many cases, Community Days introduced organizations and individuals completely new to each other, indicating substantive enrichment of the local SCSEP agency’s green building and sustainable agriculture networks. In addition, these events increased the number of community agencies familiar with and able to think through career pathways and competency models. Another outcome was a significant expansion of awareness regarding what green jobs in the field of building and agriculture could mean.”Get off the beaten” path became a refrain for participants as they became more and more inspired to think beyond hammers and hoes. As a result a larger and more informed community base will be better able to assist the unemployed or otherwise disadvantaged partake in the exciting world of green jobs.