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Women and Green Jobs. Susan Rees Wider Opportunities for Women April 1, 2009 srees@wowonline.org. What Are Green Jobs?. “Green” relates to a job’s purpose Jobs that conserve energy, expand renewable energy sources, conserve or improve the environment

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Women and green jobs l.jpg

Women and Green Jobs

Susan Rees

Wider Opportunities for Women

April 1, 2009

srees@wowonline.org


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What Are Green Jobs?

  • “Green” relates to a job’s purpose

    • Jobs that conserve energy, expand renewable energy sources, conserve or improve the environment

    • 40% of energy is used to heat and cool buildings

    • 40% of green jobs expected in making buildings energy efficient

  • Therefore, many green jobs will be in construction – similar to traditional construction laborer and skilled trades.

    • Building retrofit, HVAC

    • Infrastructure development, e.g. “smart grid,” mass transit

  • And manufacturing – wind turbines, solar panels, auto batteries


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Skills Required for Green Jobs

  • Traditional construction skills with added technical aspects

  • And thinking “green,” understanding systems

  • Community college course for commercial HVAC-refrigeration

    • 2-year, 53 units

    • How buildings work – building commissioning

    • Energy use trend analysis and diagnostics

    • Control system programming

    • Communication and presentation skills

    • Basic skills, including trigonometry and geometry


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Green: A Road to Better Jobs for Women?

  • Construction and other green jobs likely will pay more than those traditionally held by women.

    • 2/3 of all working women are clustered in only 21 of 500 job categories (Women Work, using BLS data)

  • Except for nurses and school teachers, these categories include some of the lowest paying industries

    • Retail

    • Personal services

    • Food establishments


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The Boost From Construction Wages

  • Single mother with one preschooler needs

    • $24,139 to make ends meet, WOW’s national median Self-Sufficiency Standard in 2007.

    • 60% of such women had income below the national median.

  • 2007 BLS average annual construction salaries:

    • Laborers -- $30,950

    • HVAC - Refrigeration, Mechanics and Installers -- $40,630

    • Insulation workers -- $41,480

    • Plumbers, Pipefitters, Steamfitters -- $48, 442

    • Electricians -- $48,100


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Union vs. Non-union Wages

  • Typical construction trades union member -- $993/ week, $51,636/year

  • Non-union -- $624/week, $32,448/year

  • Government certified apprenticeships in the trades are road to higher paying, long-term careers in construction, BUT

  • Only 11.5 % of construction jobs are union jobs.

    (Source: Economic Policy Institute)


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How Many Stimulus Jobs Will Be Green?

  • Jobs created by Recovery Act Spending

    • EPI estimates $200 billion in construction spending over 2 years will create 770,000 jobs in:

      • Transportation infrastructure

      • School retrofit

      • Electric power grid

      • Home Weatherization Assistance Program

      • GSA federal building retrofit

      • Public and affordable housing


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How Many Green Jobs for Women?

  • Not many, if current workforce composition is any guide

  • Women in construction overall (non-office) -- 2.6%

    • Construction laborers – 2.7%

    • HVAC, Refrigeration – 0.9%

    • Plumbers, pipefitters, steamfitters – 1.5%

    • Electricians – 1.7%

    • Insulation workers – 1.9%

    • Sheet metal workers – 3.7%

  • Manufacturing: Machinists – 5.2%


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Training funds in Recovery and Reinvestment Act

  • $1.2 billion - dislocated worker services

  • $750 million - competitive grants in high-growth sectors, including green and broadband expansion

  • $500 million - WIA adult program

    • All the above include:

      • Targeting to low-income populations

      • Supportive services

      • Needs-based cash payments

  • $1 billion Weatherization Assistance Program training

  • $20 million DOT on-the-job training and supportive services


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Adult Education in ARRA

  • WIA funds may be used to contract with community colleges.

  • Funds in the State Fiscal Assistance Fund for education may be directed to programs funded under the Perkins Career and Technical Assistance program.

  • Maximum Pell grants are increased by $500 to a maximum of $4,860.

  • New American Opportunity Tax Credit replaces and expands the Hope Scholarship to $2,500 and makes it refundable below $90,000 income ($180,000 joint returns).


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How to Ensure Women Get Green Jobs

  • Comprehensive approach, including

    • Hiring goals or preferences

    • Enforcement of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity laws

    • Pre-apprenticeship programs that include:

      • Local labor market analysis

      • Specialized outreach

      • Orientation to construction field

      • Support services and stipends, including child care and transportation to job sites

      • Programs addressing sexual harassment

      • Apprenticeship placements involving unions and employers


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At the Federal Level

  • Improve WANTO (Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations) enacted in 1992

    • Shown to increase women’s employment in higher-paying occupations by 47% (Mastracci)

    • Pre-apprenticeship training and support services, including outreach and coordination with labor-management councils

    • Authorized at $1 million – often funded at less.

    • Administered by Women’s Bureau

    • 20 programs have closed due to lack of funding.


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DOL’s Green Jobs Training Act

  • Green Jobs Training Act of 2007

    • Pathways Out of Poverty competitive demonstration grants

      • Targets individuals with income less than 200% of the Self-Sufficiency Standard

    • Should consider women’s needs in program implementation.

      • DOL should include WANTO-type pre-apprenticeship programs as nonprofit partners to receive grants.

    • Data collection requires gender, race, age and parenting status, job placement and average wage at placement, including benefits.


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DOT - Federal Highway Administration

  • Office of Civil Rights’ On-the-Job-Training and Supportive Services http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/aaa/gtup.htm

    • Competitive grants to state highway departments.

    • Purpose: increase employment of “minorities, women and disadvantaged individuals” in transportation jobs.

    • Includes recruitment, skills training, job placement, child care, outreach, transportation to work sites, pre-employment assessment, mediation and counseling.

    • “Pipeline” programs may include transportation-related internships, cooperative education, post-secondary support activities.


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Federal Nondiscrimination Enforcement

  • DOL should strengthen equal opportunity monitoring by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs in DOL.

    • Staffing has been cut by approximately 25% since 2001.

    • Restore the Equal Opportunity Survey requiring contractors to submit information on average compensation of employees by gender and race.

    • Update hiring goals for women (6.9%) and minorities that remain based on 1970 Census data.

    • Expand use of the 2000 MOU between OFCCP and the GSA to jointly promote contractor hiring goals on selected mega-projects valued over $50 million.


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At the State and Local Level

  • Legislation/regulations should give preference to contractors who –

    • Maximize the hiring of disadvantaged groups, including “individuals for whom construction is nontraditional employment,” and

    • Provide health and retirement benefits.

    • Require agencies to coordinate hiring with local community organizations, hiring centers, faith-based, labor and nonprofit organizations.

    • Require hiring data on Recovery Web sites, including to the extent possible gender, race, ethnicity, age and previous income.


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State and Local Level (cont’d)

  • Enact “project labor agreements” that include hiring goals.

    • These are negotiated voluntary agreements involving, labor, owners and contractor organizations for large projects.

    • Include women’s and community voices at the table.

    • Monitor payroll data.

  • Establish state pre-apprenticeship recruitment, training and placement programs.

    • E.g. NYC procurement policies require apprentices on publicly funded projects for the schools, Port and Housing Authorities.

    • The city’s Labor-sponsored pre-apprenticeship program guarantees placement in these certified apprenticeships.


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Washington Area Women in the Trades (WAWIT)

Camille Cormier

Wider Opportunities for Women

April 1, 2009

ccormier@wowonline.org


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WAWIT Partners and Major Roles

  • Wider Opportunities for Women: case management, non-union job and apprenticeship placement, systems advocacy;

  • YWCA of the National Capital Area: main training site, curriculum/overall program development and implementation;

  • Community Services Agency of the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO: hands-on and 120-hour Core Construction training, union job and apprenticeship placement, systems advocacy.


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WAWIT is:

  • 6 weeks of pre-apprenticeship training with up to 18 months of case management /job placement support for graduates.

  • Training that prepares low-income DC area women for construction and utility careers paying self-sufficient wages .


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WAWIT Program Components

Industry-Recognized Certificates:

  • Core Construction - training/certification using AFL-CIO’s curriculum – topics: Construction Math, Blueprint Reading, Industry Orientation/Awareness, Labor History/Contemporary Issues, Tools/Materials

  • First Aid – CPR

  • OSHA 10 Safety

    Hands-on Skills Training: 40 hours at a DC area Union Apprenticeship Training Center


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WAWIT Program Components (cont)

  • Fitness – 3 to 5 hours of weight training per week, emphasis on upper body strengthening

  • Gender Issues in Construction

  • Green Jobs Overview

  • Job Readiness

  • Basic Computer Skills/Research -a-Trade

  • Counseling/Case Management (up to 18 months)

  • Individual Job Placement (up to 18 months)

  • Technical Reading Comprehension

  • Supporting Our Sisters: Monthly support groups


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WANTO Program(a project of WAWIT)

Women into Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations

Project Goals:

  • Prepare 200 women over a 2-year period to enter high paying construction Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs) in the Washington DC area;

  • Update and dissemination of Workplace Solutions website (www.workplacesolutions.org), an online resource for employers and unions on women in nontraditional occupations;

  • Institutionalization of 3 to 5 new policies/programs in appropriate RAPs—especially in the area of recruitment and retention of women.


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WAWIT Program Outcomes

  • Seven (7) class cycles completed since March 2007

  • 193 women enrolled

  • 118 women graduated (17 of these on 3/26)

  • 61% graduation rate

  • 52 graduates placed in jobs and apprenticeships

  • 44% placement of graduates

  • Vigorous placement efforts continue


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WAWIT Challenges

  • Economic Downturn – Many skilled workers “on the bench;”

  • Not a Union Town – 20% of area contractors are union;

  • No major ports or industrial/manufacturing base;

  • Relatively small population base (582,000 in DC; 5.3 million in DC area) from which to draw interested women;

  • Suburban Maryland and Virginia student recruitment and retention is problematic (“bridge and tunnel” syndrome);

  • Lack of funding for training and work supports;

  • Broken and opaque public workforce development systems;

  • High entrance requirements for urban women: High school diploma/GED, strong math skills, drivers’ license.


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WAWIT /WOW Opportunities

  • ARRA construction/Green Jobs funding promises huge increase in training and jobs for DC area;

  • Exploring weatherization careers and other Green Jobs with WOW as a potential hub;

  • DC Green Building Act of 2006 requires environmental retrofits, Green standards for new construction;

  • US Green Jobs Act of 2007 retrofit requirements apply to the high number of Federal buildings in DC area.