Green Jobs and Adult Basic Skills April 6-10, 2009

Green Jobs and Adult Basic Skills
April 6-10, 2009

Discussion Announcement | Discussion Guests

The National Institute for Literacy's Special Topics Discussion List will address Green Jobs and Adult Basic Skills from April 6 - 10. To subscribe (and later, if you wish, to unsubscribe) go to

Adult literacy education practitioners, adult learners and those concerned about the environment will find this topic of interest. This discussion will help adult literacy practitioners to understand what new employment opportunities may exist for their students, and how to help students prepare for these "green" jobs. What exactly are "green" jobs? How many of them are there nationwide? Why are these jobs important to adult learners? What are the qualifications for these jobs? What role can adult literacy education programs play in helping students to prepare for "green" jobs? These and other questions about environmentally friendly work and adult literacy education will be addressed by our guests and by discussion participants. We hope you will join us.

Background on Discussion Guests

Alex Risley Schroeder has worked in the adult literacy and workforce development field for over twenty years. She currently works as a Green Careers Coach with adult literacy and ESOL learners and displaced and dislocated workers for the Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board in western Massachusetts. She also works with the Massachusetts Workforce Alliance on workforce development policy education and advocacy which is currently focusing on the opportunities the green economy presents. Alex has a consulting practice, Finding Earth Works, that assists ABE/GED/ESOL programs and staff and learners to consider ways to prepare for work in the green economy and to understand the environmental challenges we face. Alex worked with SABES, the adult education professional development system in Massachusetts, for a number of years. She has a M.Ed. as well as a D.Min. Her dissertation examined the opportunity for job creation for adult literacy students in green industry sectors and included the design of professional development training for ABE professionals. Last summer she helped to draft the Massachusetts Green Jobs legislation, which included funding for Pathways out of Poverty green jobs training programs.

Chris Cato is the Green Initiative Project Manager for YouthBuild USA. Chris's primary role is to support the Greening process for YouthBuild programs throughout the United States. Chris is currently assisting with the development of a "green agenda" for Massachusetts YouthBuild Coalition, and has implemented demonstration and planning projects that promote building affordable Green Homes, and increase awareness of renewable energy technologies as a pathway to prepare young adults to become a part of the new green economy. Chris has over 25 years of management experience in youth and community development with a focus on environmental awareness and responsibility. Understanding that we all have an important role in relation to our environment, it has been Chris' mission to increase access to opportunities, build awareness and develop environmental leaders within low-income urban communities. Chris is a member of the Board of Directors of Eagle Eye Institute, (Eagle Eye uses the power of nature to transform urban youth) a Corporate Advisory Board member for the Trustees Of The Reservations (one of the oldest and largest private land conservation and preservation organizations) and of the United South End Settlements (a Boston based multi service non profit).

Vien Truong is the Senior Policy Associate at Green For All. She supports and collaborates with state policymakers and community leaders in the development and implementation of green jobs policies and programs in states throughout the country. She concurrently serves as the Associate Attorney for the New Business Practicum at UC Berkeley's Boalt School of Law. She is a Commissioner for the City of Oakland's Fund for Children and Youth Planning and Oversight Committee. She also serves on the board of a labor association and a local nonprofit developer. Previously, Vien was the Community Economic Justice Law Fellow at the East Bay Community Law Center, where she worked to develop innovative, long-term economic development solutions to address the systematic problems confronting low-income communities. Vien was the founding instructor for the Legal Assistance Program for Clarita Career College, a legal training program for entering legal professionals. She also taught Street Law at Castlemont High School, a program that teaches law to high school students. She has worked for a U.S. Chief Magistrate, researching and analyzing issues before the federal court. She also worked with a California State Senator, researching and developing state law. Vien holds a B.A from the University of California at Berkeley. She also holds a J.D. from the University of California at Hastings College of the Law.

Kate Davenport has spent several years working and exploring the link between natural resource management, community assets, and economic development in both the private sector and non-profit sector. As part of the EcoVentures International team, she has managed green business and green jobs development projects, including trainings and analysis of environmental business industries. She is part of the management team for a start-up environmental microenterprise providing organic waste removal and reuse services for commercial clients in the Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Atlanta area. Looking to widen her range of private sector environmental enterprise experience, Kate has also co-managed the development of an internal Member Care Center for Flexcar, a national car-sharing company in a restart-up phase and oversaw the transition of the Member Care Center during the merger with Zipcar, a national competitor. Kate has a B.A. in History and African Studies with a Minor in Child Development from Tufts University.

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