A proposal to promote internships, entry-level positions and outreach to build environmental careers for people of color and young workers will head to Seattle City Council, after it was approved by a committee on Friday.
The resolution by Seattle City Councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Mike O’Brien endorses community principles for green jobs, tasking the city’s Interdepartmental Team on Workforce Entry and Employment Pathways with finding ways to “to advance green careers for people of color and other marginalized or under-represented groups.”
It passed out of the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development, and Arts Committee on Friday and is scheduled to come before the full city council on Oct. 3, according to Herbold’s office.
The resolution calls for developing opportunities though the City of Seattle’s Youth Employment Program, including internships, apprenticeships and investments in job training programs, and cites developing these careers as pipelines to urban farming, waste reduction, alternative transportation, green energy and clean technology, policy or program positions within nonprofits and government and other environmental fields.
The resolution was championed by Got Green’s Young Leaders in the Green Movement program, which cited a University of Michigan survey of green employers and found a lack of people of color and barriers to entry.
The study found that people of color made up 16 percent of employees at environmental organizations, and that representation shrinks to 12 percent in management positions.
“Even while struggling to make it, young people have environmental values and want to make a difference. Our city has an obligation to make sure this potential does not go to waste,” said Mo! Avery, who organizes Got Green’s Young Leaders in the Green Movement, in a prepared statement.
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This story has been updated since its original publication.