Archive for the ‘Green Jobs’ Category

Stand up for Good Green Jobs in our community!

Join the SE Seattle Jobs Committee at our next meeting!

When: Wednesday, February 1st from 6-8pm

Where: Southside Commons Building – 3518 South Edmunds St., Seattle

Why: The reconstruction of the Rainier Beach Community Center and Pool is being funded with $14 million in our tax dollars. But the contractors aren’t required to hire and train local workers to do the work.

That ain’t green – and it certainly ain’t right!

Check out this short video to hear more about what’s been happening:


Local Hiring: Good for the Planet and Good for SE Seattle

Unemployed workers and community supporters are planning informational pickets at the site where the Rainier Beach Community Center and Pool are being rebuilt by CE &C, a Tacoma-based contractor. “We’re asking CE&C (the general contractor) to insure members of our community will have an opportunity to work on reconstructing a very popular recreational center that has been closed for over a year” Leonard Sims, area resident and journey-level laborer.

The issue is the contractor’s lack of any local hiring plan that would create jobs in a neighborhood burdened with double the unemployment rates of the City overall and a lack of employment opportunities.

The project is owned by the City of Seattle and funded with $14.8M of local tax dollars.  Members of the South Seattle Jobs Committee* have attempted to secure a commitment to creating job opportunities on this project with City officials and the contractor since last August.  During these meetings, the City said it is committed to the hiring of a local and diverse workforce on City contracts.  “Following our meetings with the contractor and City, we’re skeptical there will be any jobs for workers from this community” according to James Williams, an organizer for Working Washington.

Every day the facility was used by hundreds of southeast Seattle youth, adults, and seniors and served as a focal point for community activity.  Its closure in 2010 and subsequent delays in awarding a contract for construction has drawn both criticism and praise from Rainier Beach community leaders.  The new center and pool will not open until the summer of 2013, leaving its users with few options for nearly 30 months.  “My 8-yr old son and I used the center regularly and I wish I had a rec center nearby … at least our community should get the benefit of jobs during its construction!” Jacquel Redmond, Member of Rainier Beach Community Empowerment Coalition.

Michael Woo, director of Got Green in Columbia City said, “As we’re all more conscious of our environment we’re thankful a newer community center is being built green and will ultimately help conserve resources.  While the project is good for the planet – shouldn’t it benefit the community thru green job creation too?”

What:  Informational Pickets at Rainier Beach Community Center 

When:  January 17, 18, 19 & 20, 2012 starting at 11:30am

Where:  8825 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle

“Green Women, Healthy Voices” Event VIDEOS are here!

Our “Green Women, Healthy Voices” report back to the community event was a success! You can now watch VIDEO from the event right here on the Got Green website!

View the Women in the Green Economy Report Recommendations segment in this post and in our videos tab above you can also watch powerful testimonials from SE Seattle women: Jacquel, Katherine, Michelle, Ramata, Sylvia, and Violet.

Green Women, Healthy Voices: Michelle Esguerra

Photography by Inye Wokoma / Ijo Arts Media Group

Michelle Esguerra is a journey-level, union electrician who lost her full-time job in 2009 a few months before her daughter, Clover, was born. She recently became a certified energy auditor through a federal stimulus funded green job training program. Michelle is hopeful that green jobs such as energy auditing can become career pathways for other single mothers.

“Part of the reason why I entered a “green job” and started my new training, is because I wanted a job, any job – and the energy auditing industry is a growing industry, and so if it’s growing, and has some chance of being stable, then that’s where I’m going.

Having accessible training – that I didn’t have to pay for – was very helpful. Don’t get me wrong, I invested a lot in this. I still had to fight tooth and nail to get free daycare for my daughter while I was in class…

For green jobs to be accessible to other single parents, definitely the job hours need to fit daycare hours. I still want to be an electrician, but the hours are crazy. No daycare opens before 6:30 AM and usually you have to be on the job by 6:00 AM.

…While I’m a licensed electrician, that’s not necessary to do the energy auditing job. Yes, there are some physical elements and you do have to be willing to get dirty; however there is also a ton of paperwork and a certain amount of organization and meticulousness you need to possess to succeed. We need to argue that many of these skills – that women workers might already possess – would be helpful in this industry.

I think what would need to happen on the industry end, to make these jobs more accessible to women, is for them to recognize what many women’s work backgrounds can bring to the auditing process. It can be just as easy to train a woman with strong computer skills and a sales background to audit a home as it is to train a person with a strong construction background to navigate unfamiliar computer programs and make a sale.”

Got Green will be celebrating the international day of action on climate change on September 24th a little differently than other actions nationwide by releasing a report on what low-income women and people of color have to say about their priorities for the green movement- to change the climate of our communities.

Click here to join Got Green on Saturday, September 24 from 12-2 PM at South Lake High School in Rainier Beach (8601 Rainier Ave S, 98118) as we release our report, Women in the Green Economy: Voices from SE Seattle. Free healthy lunch and childcare provided.

Green Women, Healthy Voices: Sylvia Sabon

Photography by Inye Wokoma / ljo Arts Media Group

Prioritize green jobs and opportunities for low income women and people of color

Sylvia Sabon got her start in the construction industry through a community hiring agreement won by the Seattle-based grassroots group LELO that prioritized low income women and workers of color for Sound Transit jobs. In 2008 Sylvia was laid off from her job as an office worker with Kiewit Construction – a major contractor with Sound Transit.

I think a lot of women are asking ‘are there really green jobs?’ They’re out there looking for cashiers jobs, restaurant jobs, and clerical jobs; because when you’re looking for jobs you don’t really see a category called ‘green jobs.’

I’m an Alaskan Native, and on Sound Transit when I was working in the construction trailer, I was the only brown face around… We won a contract that made those companies hire women and people of color. That’s how I got in the door.

But more companies need to have requirements to hire people from the Rainier Valley and our communities. They should have the requirement to hire local women, local workers; Without agreements like these and buy-in from the contractors, you submit your resume, application and they most likely say ‘thank you for your time.’ And they’re going to hire someone from outside the city limits – from Gig Harbor, Auburn. And we’re saying, ‘we’re right here. Why don’t you hire us? The job site is only ten minutes away from my house’… a lot of us are going to those job shacks, signing the list, but we’re not getting hired. And we want jobs. All we want is an opportunity for a chance.

Now we have to talk about green jobs and what they mean for women of color. It rains a lot in Seattle, it’s damp and cold and it creates a lot of mold – especially if you don’t have a lot of ventilation and insulation. It will create a healthier environment if buildings can get weatherized, our children will have less asthma, and it will create more green jobs…

A number of us single parents, we went to training, we’re ready to work, but we need a more fair economy.

Got Green will be celebrating the International Day of Action on Climate Change on September 24th a little differently than other actions nationwide by releasing a report on what low-income women and people of color have to say about their priorities for the green movement- to change the climate of our communities.

Click here to join Got Green on Saturday, September 24 from 12-2 PM at South Lake High School in Rainier Beach (8601 Rainier Ave S, 98118) as we release our report, Women in the Green Economy: Voices from SE Seattle. Free healthy lunch and childcare provided.

Press Release

Green Women, Healthy Voices: We will be heard!

Women in Southeast Seattle release survey findings and recommendations on the green economy.

SEATTLE –   On September 24th 2011, Got Green’s Women in the Green Economy Project will release their survey findings and recommendations to the public at a community event at South Lake High School in Rainier Valley.  The new green economy should mean that all communities have access to good paying green jobs, money to buy healthy foods, healthy homes that are energy efficient and free of toxins, and affordable public transportation.

Yet, the voices of low-income women of color in Southeast Seattle are not heard in the green economy.  When women’s voices are not heard, families’ health suffers.  35% of the surveys were conducted in a language other than English – including Somali, Spanish, Tigrinya and Vietnamese.

“We started the Women in the Green Economy Project to create a place for women like me  — low- income women, women of color, and women from immigrant backgrounds — to raise our voices, front and center, so that we could be a part of this new green economy.  If we’re not on the front end of this green movement, it will be another opportunity that leaves us behind,” says Tammy Nguyen, a New Holly resident and founder of the project.

Survey findings conducted by Women in the Green Economy Project and volunteers earlier this year showed that SE Seattle low-income women of color regard good nutrition as THE number one priority for their and their family’s health in a 2:1 margin, followed by green homes. When asked “what is your main barrier to a healthy diet for you and your family?”  78% had a simple answer: COST.

The University of Washington released a study in August 2011 determining that it will cost a family thousands of dollars a year to follow the federal guidelines of a healthy diet; grocery bills dropped significantly if they buy foods high in saturated fats and sugars.  It is not out of lack of concern for their family’s health; the real issue is that families with a tight budget during an economic downturn simply cannot afford to buy healthy foods.

Ramata, a low-income single mom joined the Women in Green Project because, “I want to help with getting healthy food – because I know it’s a priority for me and my family – into our communities.” She feels strongly about the food issue as she’s currently breast feeding and wants to control what goes into her body.

The women’s Food Access Organizing Committee is planning their next steps to put more healthy food dollars into the pockets of families in the community.  Got Green is also working on the second identified priority -green homes- to ensure that low-income families have healthy and green homes through energy building upgrades and city programs.  Survey findings, testimonials, and policy recommendations are compiled in a report to amplify the voices of real women from the most racially diverse and lowest income neighborhood in our city – laying the groundwork for community organizing efforts to include women’s and their families’ priorities in the green economy.

WHAT: “Green Women, Healthy Voices” Community Event Women in Green Economy Report release

WHEN: Saturday, September 24, 2011 12 – 2pm

WHERE: South Lake High School, 8601 Rainier Ave S, Seattle

Child care provided and Interpretation in Spanish, Somali, and Vietnamese


Got Green is a grassroots group in the Seattle area led by young adults of color and low-income people that works to make sure the benefits of the green economy – including green jobs, access to healthy food, energy efficient homes, and good public transit – become widely available to low income and communities of color

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Media Contact: Chio Saeturn, 206-406-7128,

Got Green makes “Real Change” with Stimulus Dollars


Training graduates Ruby Jones and David Bridges applaud the call for jobs weatherizing SE Seattle homes.

Got Green, with the stimulus money it received, has trained 27 low-income individuals in South Seattle in two of its weatherization training programs – a program in partnership with LiUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America.  The last group of trainees – 14 diverse low-income residents of South Seattle – graduated on March 18. 

As the 27 South Seattle residents graduated from a targeted qualified training program, they are in the pool of eligible hires and should be first in line for contractors participating in the City of Seattle’s Community Power Works project.  The $20 million stimulus project to weatherize 2,000 homes in South Seattle is set to kick off on April 19. 

Got Green’s graduates have high expectations that they will be employed in the City’s energy retrofit project making their own communities more energy efficient and save utility costs.  

A former Got Green weatherization graduate, Yirim Seck, is featured in Real Change News.  Seck has been employed with EcoFab to do home insulation and is now a journeyman insulator making $23 an hour.  Will the City of Seattle make good on its promise of ensuring family-wage green jobs back to the community and success stories like Seck?

Read Seck’s story in Real Change: Got Green Makes Stimulus money