Donate Donate

Michigan Greenforce Learning and Action Network Summit

Advancing Greener Careers and Campuses in Michigan

February 17, 2011
9:00am to 4:00pm
Lansing Community College, West Campus Conference Center, rooms M119-122

About the Summit:

Across the nation, the government, nonprofit, and for-profit sectors are making unprecedented investments in building a green economy, and these investments will transform how we produce and use energy in response to the need to address climate change, increase energy security, and stimulate economic recovery and growth. But the success of these investments will depend upon a workforce that can help drive changes in energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout our economy and society. To a great extent, this is a workforce that needs to be created, through education, training, and re-skilling.

The Jobs for the Future (JFF) and National Wildlife Federation (NWF) are joining forces through the Greenforce Initiativein six regions of the country, including Virginia, specifically the Northern, Chesapeake, and Shenandoah regions, to assist and accelerate this process. We are focusing on community colleges, recognizing the key role that these institutions play in:

  1. Ensuring that workers gain skills that lead to the green careers they want and the jobs that green economy employers need and
  2. Driving the creation of local “workforce partnerships” – bringing together green-sector employers, workforce development organizations, unions, and other community stakeholders.

The Michigan Greenforce Summit 2011 will allow participants to identify and share region-specific solutions to expanding the new green economy and accelerating green education and workforce development initiatives. Through the Summit, we will provide a forum to build relationships, share best practices, support the outstanding work of others within the State, and develop strategies to address resource challenges related to creating green career pathways and engaging lower-skilled adults.

The morning will consist of plenary sessions designed to highlight the latest information and trends, and to share some of the best practicies of local practitioners, including employers and industry. The afternoon is designed to allow attendees to participate in industry sector-based workgroups consistent with the focus of the Greenforce Initiative.

As communities and the nation move toward greater sustainability and economic recovery, community colleges must make significant and profound adjustments towards creating pathways into a new energy economy and a greener future. We hope that you will join us to explore ways in which this can take place in Michigan.


  • Explore the new green economy opportunities in Michigan
  • Examine ways that community colleges and other key stakeholders can work to prepare the workforce in this region for the green economy
  • Identify opportunities to align economic development and economic opportunity in the green economy
  • Build relationships, share best practices, and develop strategies to address resource challenges related to creating green career pathways and engaging lower-skilled adults
  • Learn how to use campus sustainability projects as hands-on training opportunities for workforce students

Who Should Attend:

  • Administrators, faculty and staff engaged in (or interested in) credit education programs in green sectors;
  • Faculty involved in non-credit green workforce training programs;
  • Administrators overseeing green education and training programs;
  • Student support staff;
  • Campus sustainability and/or facilities operations staff (overseeing campus greening efforts);
  • Students (if they are engaged in helping to shape college programs around green education and training and campus sustainability);
  • Representatives of workforce boards, employers, high schools, hospitals, cities, municipalities.

Participating campuses and organizations:

  • Delta College
  • Grand Rapids Community College
  • Jackson Community College
  • Lansing Community College
  • Macomb Community College
  • Michigan Community College Association
  • Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth (DELEG)
  • Monroe Community College
  • Mott Community College
  • Oakland Community College
  • St. Clair Community College
  • Washtenaw Community College
  • Wayne County Community College


9:00am - Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:30am - Welcome and Introductions
George Berghorn, Chairman, Environmental, Design, and Building Technologies Department, Lansing Community College
Tim Warman, Vice President of Climate and Clean Energy, National Wildlife Federation (NWF)

9:45am - Overview of the Greenforce Initiative and the Michigan Greenforce Summit
Gloria Mwase, Program Director, Jobs for the Future (JFF)

10:00am - State Level Green Initiatives from Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth
Marcia Black-Watson, Deputy Director, Bureau of Workforce Transformation, DELEG

10:30am - How Sustainability and State Policy Promote Economic Competitiveness
Moderator: Tim Warman, NWF
Martin Dober, Senior Vice President, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Team, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Gerald Ryan, Small Business Owner, KGR Services
Mark Abbott, Program Director - Pathways Out of Poverty, C.S. Mott Foundation
Tiffany Douglas, Michigan and Indiana Market Manager, Bank of America

11:30am - Break

11:45am - Engaging Employers and Promoting Economic Development
Moderator: Stephen Lynch, JFF
Julie Parks, Director, Workforce Training, Grand Rapids Community College
Bruce Thompson, Partner, Rockford Berge
Diana Carpenter, Regional and Sectoral Strategies Division Director, Bureau of Workforce Transformation, DELEB

12:45pm - Lunch and Luncheon Keynote
Opening remarks: Mark Abbott, Program Director, C.S. Mott Foundation
Keynote speaker: John Austin, President, Michigan State Board of Education, Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, Visiting Faculty at University of Michigan

1:45pm - Break and move to sector based working sessions

2:00pm - Sector-based working sessions
This time will alow participants to gather and focus on industry sectors that are active in their region (or area of expertise). Each group will be asked to focus their work on the three key Greenforce areas:
1 - Increasing access and success rates of lower-skilled adult learners in community college workforce training programs.
2 - Greening career pathways that lead to career advancement opportunities for the above population.
3 - Developing innovative links between on-campus sustainability initiatives and workforce training.

Agriculture and Natural Resources Conservation
Susan Cocciarelli, Community Economic Development Specialist, MSU

Clean Transportation and Fuels (Parts, Batteries, Logistics and Shipping, etc.)
Matt Shields, Workforce Development Specialist, Bureau of Workforce Transformation, DELEG
Douglas Fertuck, Assistant Director, Energy and Automotive Programs, Macomb Community College

Increasing Energy Efficiency (Weatherization, Auditing, HVAC, etc)
Brian Shultz, Program Development Specialist, Grand Rapids Community College

Pollution Prevention and Environmental Clean Up
Guy Williams, President and CEO/Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice

Producing Renewable Energy (Wind, Solar, Geothermal, etc.)
David Sterret, President/Director, Research and Development, US United Energy Systems

4:00pm - Sustaining the Momentum: Next steps for the Michigan Greenforce Initiative
Juliana Goodlaw-Morris, Campus Field Manager, NWF
Stephen Lynch, Sr. Project Manager, JFF

4:15pm - Summits ends

Get Involved

Where We Work

More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. The National Wildlife Federation is on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

Learn More