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Green Jobs, as we define them, are well-paid, career-track jobs that contribute directly to preserving or enhancing environmental quality. A summary of the five current Green Jobs projects at Community Action Duluth is below.
Pictured, Left: Community Action Duluth canvassers promote energy efficiency programs in partnership with the Duluth Energy Efficiency Program. Right: Canvasser informs homeowner about the benefits of energy conservation
Four Community Action Duluth participants were hired to conduct a 10 week energy outreach campaign for DEEP. The campaign includes door knocking, phone calls and outreach at events. DEEP is a City of Duluth initiative that helps all homeowners (regardless of income level) save money by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes. DEEP provides rebates, resources and incentives to help with improvements including air sealing, insulation, heating, appliances, lighting, safety, comfort and more. Our canvassers are bringing an infrared camera with them door-to-door so homeowners can see right away how energy is leaking out of the homes. So far, the canvassers have knocked on 5789 doors and talked to over 1800 homeowners. The canvass is led by John Doberstein and all are employed by Community Action Duluth in a contract with DEEP. This is the third year that Community Action Duluth has run an energy outreach campaign.
The canvass provides transitional employment to agency participants who are under or unemployed. Transitional jobs are temporary and provide a paycheck while the employee learns job skills, builds a resume and a gains an employment reference. All of the canvassers are working with an employment coach at Community Action Duluth on a long term employment plan. One of the canvassers just obtained longer term job through MN Department of Transportation as a maintenance worker. She is currently working both jobs and the job with MN DOT is the result of a new partnership between MN DOT and Community Action Duluth.
Photos tell a story...
Top left: Green Duluth Energy Canvassers partake in one of their community environmental projects at WLSSD along with their canvass manager John Doberstein.
Bottom left: Seeds of Success interns Erin and Sophie work at the Central Hillside site.
Right: Step Up participants and program coordinator Xavier Bell pictured at their first day on the job with our Green Jobs partner Johnson Wilson Constructors at the Harbor Highlands project.
Seeds of Success Urban Agriculture Project: Community Action Duluth has launched an innovative urban farming program, Seeds of Success. Created in partnership with Community Action Duluth, Zeppa Foundation, Duluth LISC, and the City of Duluth, Seeds of Success provides jobs to youth from low income households through urban agriculture. The program currently has eight sites throughout the City of Duluth, ranging from an old tennis court in Chester Bowl to a formerly blighted lot in Lincoln Park. Program staff and community volunteers work together to grow a wide variety of fresh produce. In addition to creating green jobs and neighborhood green spaces, the program includes community members with low incomes in the local food system. Income-eligible volunteers earn shares of the harvest, plus the knowledge and tools to grow their own vegetables and herbs at home.
Duluth Streams - Watershed Conservation Corps: This project began in October 2010 and will provide six full-time conservation jobs for two years. Duluth Streams Watershed Conservation Corps is a pilot scale project focusing on the need to protect and restore upland riparian zones for their value as wildlife corridors, filters for polluted runoff, and sinks to slow storm water runoff. The program will use underemployed urban residents to carry out restoration projects along the banks of cold water streams draining into the St. Louis River Area of Concern and Lake Superior. These Watershed Conservation Corps members will work in tandem with a habitat action team to implement projects that hold and retain water, filter pollutants, restore native vegetation, provide shade, and stabilize shoreline banks. A Habitat Action Team (HAT) facilitated by Julene Boe of the St. Louis River Alliance, will oversee project planning and implementation. This program is made possible by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Minnesota Power Energy Conservation: Community Action Duluth and our electric utility company, Minnesota Power, have joined forces to encourage owners and tenants of income-eligible multi-family rental buildings to conserve energy.
Step-Up Construction Apprentices: Circles of Support is attempting to build a pathway out of poverty by focusing on clean energy green jobs. We have partnered with Duluth LISC, the City of Duluth, Duluth HRA, and Johnson Wilson Constructors, to implement an entry-level pre-apprentice program, called Step Up. The intent is to provide participants opportunities to network and gain trade experience that can lead to well-paid, career-track jobs that contribute directly to preserving or enhancing environmental quality. The goal of this exciting pre-apprenticeship program is to create more than short-term work on individual projects. It includes people with low incomes in helping to build a sustainable economy, where environmental, social, and economic goals go hand-in-hand. This is a Duluth at Work Green Jobs funded project.