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Seattle Greenforce Initiative Summit

Preparing the Regional Workforce for a Greener Economy

May 5, 2011
8:30am to 3:30pm
Puget Sound Industrial Excellence Center, South Seattle Community College, Georgetown Campus

The Greenforce Initiative, a partnership between the National Wildlife Federation and Jobs for the Future (JFF) is strengthening the capacity of community colleges to implement or refine quality pathways that lead to careers in the green sector. Building on the combined experience of NWF and JFF in environmental sustainability and workforce development and education, respectively, this initiative is providing high-impact assistance to community colleges in targeted regions across the U.S.

A key aspect of this work is the development of regional learning communities amongst community colleges to enable ongoing information sharing among campuses in each region and encourage formation of partnerships between multiple campuses as they pursue resources and projects for developing green career pathways that are accessible for lower-skilled adults and that integrate sustainability in campus operations, curricula and training programs.

In Seattle, the Greenforce Initiative is collaborating with South Seattle Community College and other partners to host a summit. The purpose of this summit is to provide in-person opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, sharing of best practices, and networking among curriculum-level education, workforce development, basic skills and sustainability leaders from community colleges in the greater Seattle region. The gathering will also serve as a launching point for a regional learning community. With the support of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the summit will be free of charge for participants.

We believe this summit, and the learning community that will emerge, will provide valuable tools in advancing green career pathways and sustainability work at area community colleges. Summit participants will come away with more and stronger connections to peers in the region, information about local green workforce trends and potential, and knowledge of resources, opportunities, models, and strategies to help every campus strengthen education and workforce development efforts in green sectors.

The Goals of the Summit:

  • Explore the growth of the new green economy in Seattle and opportunities to expand growth;
  • Examine ways that community colleges and other key stakeholders are working to prepare the workforce in this region for the green economy, including key strategies to facilitate access and success for lower-skilled adults;
  • Identify opportunities for ongoing collaboration to align economic development and economic opportunity in the green economy;
  • Connect green curriculum programs to the greening of your campus by using the "living laboratory" concept.

Who Should Attend:
We encourage colleges to send representatives from the following groups to the summit:

  • Faculty teaching green workforce development or related non-credit/continuing education programs
  • Credit level faculty in green sectors
  • Basic skills staff
  • Campus sustainability coordinators and/or facilities operations staff
  • Faculty teaching entrepreneurship courses
  • Student success/support programs, including career services staff
  • Partners and representatives from public workforce and economic development organizations
  • Community-based partners and industry association representatives
  • Regional employers

Participating Campuses and Organizations:
Bellevue Community College
Cascadia Community College
Clover Park Community College
Highline Community College
North Seattle Community College
Seattle Central Community College
Shoreline Community College
South Seattle Community College
Tacoma Community College


8:30am - Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00am - Welcome, Introductions and an Overview of The Greenforce Initiative

  • Event MC: Gloria Mwase, Program Director, Jobs for the Future (JFF)
  • Maria Flynn, VP, Building Economic Opportunity, JFF
  • Gary Oertli, President, South Seattle Community College (SSCC)
  • Bob Peters, Washington State President, Bank of America
  • Carly Queen, Campus Field Coordinator, National Wildlife Federation (NWF)

9:45am - Overview of Seattle Community College District Chancellor's Sustainability Initiative

  • Carin Weiss, Vice Chancellor, Seattle Community College District
  • Joe Hauth, Director, Puget Sound Industrial Excellence Center, SSCC
  • Christian Rusby, Sustainability Coordinator, North Seattle Community College
  • Wendy Rockhill, Dean, Science & Mathematics, Seattle Central Community College

10:15am - Best Bets for Connecting Low-Skill Adults to Green Jobs in Greater Seattle

  • Facilitator: Stephen Lynch, Senior Project Manager, JFF
  • Marlena Sessions, CEO, Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County
  • Kristyn Clayton, Building Sciences Instructor, SSCC
  • Desiree Phair, Regional Labor Economist for Seattle-King County, WA Employment Security Department

11:15am - Break

11:30am - How Sustainability Impacts the Workforce Demands of Business and Industry

  • Facilitator: Gloria Mwase, JFF
  • Egils Milbergs, Executive Director, Washington Economic Development Commission
  • Dave Gering, Executive Director, Manufacturing Industrial Council
  • Jason Lear, Board Member, Northwest EcoBuilding Guild
  • Micah Haman, Customer Renewable Energy Program Manager, Puget Sound Energy

12:30pm - Networking Lunch - Sustaining the Momentum: Next Steps for the Seattle Greenforce Initiative, Moderator, Gloria Mwase, JFF

1:30pm - Breakout sessions

Creating Pathways to Green Careers in the Clean Energy Sector,
Jamie Krause, Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy, Centralia College

Connecting Campus Sustainability to Green Workforce Development, Carly Queen, NWF

Reframing Green: Developing Pathways in Sustainable Building, Construction Trades, and Other Sectors

  • Jason Lear, Northwest EcoBuilding Guild
  • Tom Balderston, Puget Sound Technical Lead, Conservation Services Group
  • Gloria Mwase, JFF
  • Stephen Lynch, JFF

3:30pm - Optional Tour of South Seattle's Green Education and Training Facilities

4:30pm - Tour Ends/Summit Adjourns

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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.

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