Calif. Program Trains 'Green Collar' Workers
Pioneering initiative's grads tackle both pollution and poverty
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2009 12:12 PM CDT
A "Green Jobs Now" rally in Los Angeles.   (©greenforall.org)
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(Newser) – The first waves of graduates from California's pioneering "green collar" training program are ready to put their new skills to work reducing the state's carbon footprint, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The trainees, including ex-cons and low-income residents, have finished an extensive course in construction skills to equip them for entry-level jobs in the green economy.

In Oakland, the mayor has championed the program as a way to reduce crime and poverty. Recruits to the city's training program were drug-tested and required to have near-perfect attendance. Of 45 recruits, 42 finished the course, according to its director. "I'm a perfectionist, but I think the whole thing went extremely well," he said. "We're very optimistic we can keep this going, although it's all predicated on funding."