Where jobs & the environment meet   ·   Feb 10-11, 2014, Washington, D.C.
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The Meeting Point Blog

The 2014 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference was a great success and we wanted to say thank you to all who came and made this it an incredible event. The effort to Repair America is growing stronger every day, and we hope you will bring home new ideas and a new energy to help make this happen.

The highlights from the Conference are numerous and include speeches by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Amy Klobuchar, Congresswoman Donna Edwards. Over two days, hundreds of business, labor, environmental and civic leaders also took part in over 50 workshops focused on repairing America to both address climate change and create family-sustaining jobs for workers in every part of the country. 

PLENARY SESSION RECAP

In the first Plenary Session on Day One of the Conference, United Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard and BlueGreen Alliance Foundation President David Foster kicked off the morning. Speakers included Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and a panel on the infrastructure needs of our nation.

Day One's afternoon session featured EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, and a panel on repairing America to build a strong economic and environmental foundation for our nation.

Day Two featured U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Dr. Beverley Wright from the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Larry Schweiger, and a panel featuring experts on U.S. trade policy and what "fast-track" is and how it would impact our economy and environment.

Click on "Read More" below to see videos of each of the plenary sessions or view individual speeches on our YouTube page

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS AND CONVENERS

Also, we want to acknowledge our Conveners for getting the word out.

Finally, we want to thank the Sponsors of the Conference. Registration makes up only a fraction of what’s needed to make this happen, and our sponsors are vital to making Good Jobs, Green Jobs a reality.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACTS: Erin Bzymek, erinb@bluegreenalliance.org, 202-706-6916


 Hundreds Attended Conference Focused on Repairing America’s Infrastructure to Create Jobs and Address Climate Change

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Labor, environmental, business, non-profit and civic leaders gathered this week in Washington, D.C. for the 2014 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference. The Conference focused on finding solutions to repair America’s infrastructure systems—energy, communications, transportation, water, and buildings, such as schools—to create family-sustaining jobs, address climate change, and keep communities safe and healthy.

Leaders from around the country held and attended dozens of workshops, took part in plenary sessions featuring dynamic speakers, and networked and shared their own experiences creating a stronger, cleaner American economy over two days.

“We’re proud to once again put together the largest discussion in the country on how we can repair America’s infrastructure to create family-sustaining jobs, while ensuring our communities are safe and healthy and America lives up to its obligation to address climate change,” said David Foster, the President of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation. “Now, the leaders who joined us at this Conference will be heading to their hometowns to begin the hard work of moving America forward to a cleaner, more prosperous economy.”

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From AT&T: M2M Connectivity: Driving Innovations in Energy Efficiency

  ·  Susan Diegelman, Director of Public Affairs, AT&T,

The following blog post is from Susan Diegelman, Director, Public Affairs, AT&T

Machine-to-machine (M2M) technology and the broadband networks that deliver its value are revolutionizing how we are shaping a greener environment. Thanks to M2M solutions, cars have become more than just machines that help us get from point A to point B and our building systems have never run more efficiently. If deployed en mass, M2M technology could provide solutions to America’s infrastructure challenges.  

The proliferation of broadband technology and M2M solutions has enabled us to more efficiently carry out green building practice; creating safe, healthy, sustainable and intelligent buildings. During the "Smart Buildings Make Happy Workers" panel at the Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference, U.S. Green Building Alliance detailed how their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, have helped make “green buildings” into a standard practice. Several practices that were considered revolutionary at the start of LEED are now common practice and some are even now standard building code—lessening the overall impact the commercial building sector has on the environment.

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The Meeting Point Blog

The following blog was originally posted on GM's Fast Lane blog. Read more about the workshop Mike Robinson took part in here.

Mike Robinson refers to himself as “fanatically pragmatic.”

During a panel at the annual Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference in Washington D.C., our vice president of sustainability and global regulatory affairs said GM looks at sustainability as a mainstream, long-term business strategy where decisions are driven by how to best take care of customers, employees and shareholders.

And since we’re running a business, these decisions need to make sense from a financial, people and environment perspective.

Mike was joined on his panel by representatives from International Paper, Alcoa and UPS to talk about sustainability and the bottom line.

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The following blog was originally posted on the Sierra Club's "The Planet" blog.

Good-Jobs-Green-Jobs

Last week more than 1,300 business, labor, environmental, and civic leaders -- including some 100 Sierra Club staff, volunteers, speakers, and community partners -- took part in the seventh annual Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference in Washington, D.C.

The conference, whose motto is, "Where Jobs and the Environment Meet," focused on repairing the infrastructure Americans rely on every day -- our water systems, electrical grid, transit, road, pipelines, and schools -- with an eye toward environmental sustainability and family-sustaining jobs that cannot be outsourced.

The Sierra Club is one of the primary sponsors of the conference, along with the BlueGreen Alliance, the United Steelworkers (USW), and Alcoa.

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune (below) was among the keynote speakers on the conference's opening day. "We need to recreate our economy with clean energy that takes the place of fossil fuels," Brune said. "Everybody here knows it’s going to be a challenge to do that. But we must. The ultimate rewards for all of humanity when we achieve that goal will be greater than we can imagine. The Sierra Club is 100 percent committed to creating an economy that is 100 percent powered with clean energy."

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The following is an excerpt of a blog originally posted by Alliance for Climate Education. Visit their site for the full entry.

Finally just last week, the DC youth leadership network further deepened their influence at a premier DC-based conference, Good Jobs, Green Jobs. Seven ACE youth leaders were recruited to help host the first-ever Youth Caucus as a prequel to the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference, in spite of the fact that youth have been historically marginalized at events that focus on transitioning our economy away from fossil fuel dependence towards renewable energy. ACE collaborated on this event with the BlueGreen Alliance and NRDC, and ACE’s leaders expertly facilitated three hours worth of material throughout the day, supporting the event in realizing its goals for a collective vision for youth at this conference and the broader movement.

The type of popular education-based facilitation training used in the Youth Caucus training is a cornerstone of ACE’s work, both internally and externally.

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Combined Heat & Power

  ·  Roxanne Johnson, Research Analyst for the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation,

The following blog is by Roxanne Johnson, Research Analyst for the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation. You can also learn more about CHP systems in Roxanne's earlier blog, posted here.

I had a great time presenting for the first time at Good Jobs, Green Jobs! The session I was in, Combined Heat and Power: Fueling Our Economy and Keeping the Power On, first focused on the benefits of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems to hospitals and, second, talked about the job creation opportunities of CHP in other areas. 

The Potential

Jennifer Kefer from the Alliance for Industrial Efficiency started our presentation with a brief overview of the national CHP situation and the enormous potential for realizing more of the benefits of installing more CHP capacity—these include benefits like better energy efficiency, cost savings, reliability and competitiveness improvements, and a lower environmental impact. The conversation then turned to CHP systems specifically used in hospitals, facilities that have high electricity and thermal needs as well as a high concern for reliable energy. Jennifer talked about some of the hospitals that had used their CHP systems to stay operational while the electricity grid was down, and she mentioned a couple examples of hospitals that were up and running after Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy.

Brad Bathgate from PWI Engineering talked about developing CHP projects for hospitals and designing the systems to have the reliability benefits required. He gave several examples of projects that PWI had developed, and he mentioned that some of the components for those projects were manufactured here in the U.S., which transitioned nicely into my presentation about job creation opportunities.

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Delivering on Jobs Promises

  ·  Roxanne Johnson, Research Analyst for the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation,
The Meeting Point Blog

The following blog is by Roxanne Johnson, Research Analyst for the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation.

Photo Info: Programs that helped rapidly retool American factories to build the most efficient vehicle technology – like at Ford’s Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky – enhanced the jobs benefits from fuel economy standards.  Photo: Sam VarnHagen/ Ford Motor Co.

The workshop session Delivering on Jobs Promises on day one of the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference talked about how investments and policy have successfully created jobs in the past, as well as how job creation remains a challenge in the future.  A few ideas really stuck with me:

We can’t just assume we’ll build jobs

Moderator Zoe Lipman, Senior Policy Advisor to the BlueGreen Alliance, started off by citing the auto rescue as a huge success in revitalizing an industry facing bankruptcy. The rescue and the forward-looking fuel economy standards helped drive demand for new vehicles as well as allow us to realize environmental benefits from increased fuel efficiency. One thing she said that really stood out to me was that we can’t just assume that the jobs would be created automatically; in this case it was the manufacturing incentives included in the rescue that ensured the retooling of U.S. manufacturers and allowed for continued domestic production of these more fuel-efficient cars and light trucks.

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The Meeting Point Blog

Last week at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference, four very different companies spoke about four different sustainability stories and all four companies are motivated by the same thing: a stronger bottom line and a better future. In a panel led by BlueGreen Alliance Foundation President David Foster, representatives from General Motors, Alcoa, International Paper and UPS all spoke about their own company’s efforts to improve sustainability by reducing energy, reducing waste and reducing use natural resources. 

International Paper is the world’s largest forest products manufacturer, they’ve been in business for 115 years. Teri Shanahan, Vice President of Sustainability, International Paper, spoke about how her company’s story is counterintuitive. 

For example, when International Paper builds a paper mill, that’s a $1 billion investment based around the fact that the forest will be there for a long time—at least 100 years. When you buy a forest-based product, you’re investing in the future of that forest. 

Michael Robinson, Vice President of Sustainability, General Motors touted many ways the company is at the cutting edge of sustainability. GM is the number one automotive user of solar power and has 106 landfill-free facilities. Robinson summed it simply by saying sustainability is a mainstream business strategy, nothing more, nothing less. 

The company that was sustainable before it was cool is UPS. Jim Bruce, Vice President, Corporate Public Affairs from UPS spoke about the fact that if UPS was going to outcompete other companies, they had to avoid waste. What you’ll be surprised to learn is UPS is the largest user of rail in the country, and they’ve been using it since 1966. Since then, UPS has only gotten more sophisticated in its sustainability efforts, adding alternative fuel/advanced technology vehicles and much more along the way. 

Similarly, Alcoa—the world's third largest producer of aluminum—has integrated sustainability into everything the company does for a long time. It takes a lot to be the Most Admired Metals Company,” part of that is making sure everyone appreciates the value of a recycling and reusing materials. Like GM, Alcoa stressed that it’s not a sustainability strategy; it’s a business strategy at its heart. 

Alcoa is passing the benefits of sustainability efforts onto customers. For example, taking out 10 percent of the weight of automobile and replacing with aluminum will save five to seven percent of energy use over the life of the vehicle. 

GM, Alcoa, International Paper and UPS all demonstrated companies can take a bold stand on sustainability efforts that will make a difference. Everyone benefits when common-sense sustainability efforts like all of these are implemented. Of the 100 largest economies in the world, businesses make up 51 of those economies and countries make up 49. It’s time for Congressional leaders and other global leaders to match the business commitment to this kind of sustainability.

Photo: Business leaders address the audience at the "Sustainability and the Bottom Line" workshop at Good Jobs, Green Jobs 2014.

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One of the issues at the heart of the labor movement is ensuring every worker has a safe workplace. The importance of these efforts were highlighted in 2012 when a new study showed women in plastics manufacturing and food processing in Canada had five times the instances of breast cancer than others. 

This study spurred the BlueGreen Alliance and United Steelworkers to work together to create the “Putting Breast Cancer Out of Work” training program, a program that was the focus of a Tuesday morning workshop at the 2014 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference. Since the training was first released, it has received positive reviews, and the United Steelworkers, United Food and Commercial Workers, and the United Auto Workers are all integrating it into their occupational safety work. 

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Prior to taking the stage to address the 2014 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy tweeted, “It’s never been about choosing between the economy and the environment - we can have both #gjgj2014.” During her speech, McCarthy said more about the truth of the statement—a statement that lies at the heart of the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conferenceand she reiterated the Administration’s commitment to creating regulations limiting carbon emissions from America’s power plants. 

“Cynics said the Clean Air Act would destroy the economy in 1990,” McCarthy explained. “They were wrong then and they were wrong now… I am absolutely sure that by working together, we will seize the opportunity in front of us… I know that if we work together, we cannot fail… because you don’t bet against the American worker.”

McCarthy’s speech was part of the noon plenary session that occurred on Day 1 of the 2014 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference. During the session, Sierra Club President Michael Brune also spoke about the carbon pollution standards and the work environmentalists are doing with union members to ensure the just transition for workers whose jobs will be impacted by the transition to a clean energy economy.

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Just a few weeks ago, the Metrodome stadium in Minneapolis, MN was deflated for a final time. While this stadium, built in 1982, is closing the final chapter on the current location that housed the Vikings, Twins and briefly the Timberwolves, the story of how the next stadium is being built is one worth knowing.

The next generation stadium, where many more years of sports history will be made, is an example of how strategic partnerships are working in the Twin Cities to benefit the entire community and employ a more diverse workforce of people who are better prepared to take on the environmental and economic opportunities.

By the numbers, it’s expected that around 20 percent of contractors are minority owned; 32 percent of those hands will be from emerging or underrepresented communities; 6 percent of people on the site will be women; and in total 1,100 peak number of individuals on the site. Overall, this is a great opportunity for the industry.

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Each year since 2010, the Solar Foundation has taken a comprehensive snapshot of the U.S. solar industry to measure just how many jobs are being created by this clean form of energy.

At Good Jobs, Green Jobs 2014, Andrea Leucke the Executive Director of the Solar Foundation was joined by Amit Ronen, the Director of the George Washington University Solar Institute; Chris Nichols, a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy; and Ken Stadlin, the owner and operator of KENERGY, a solar installer in the Washington, D.C. area to give workshop attendees an inside look at the Solar Census 2013

Leucke gave an overview of the Census, noting that there are now 143,000 workers in the U.S. solar industry and that the industry grew last year at a rate of 10 times the national average job growth level. Using a survey to find out directly from the source—solar companies themselves—the report only counts workers who spend 50 percent of their time working on solar. Over 2,000 companies answered the survey, and Leucke said, “We’re proud of the rigor behind our methodology.” 

The Census also showed that jobs in the solar industry in the U.S. have grown by 53 percent since 2010 and that installation and manufacturing make up the bulk of the jobs. Noting the room for growth and the need for diversity, Leucke pointed out that only 18.7 percent of the 143,000 estimated workers are female. 

The biggest reason why the sector is growing is the decreasing costs of solar. An estimated 51 percent of solar customers cited they went with a solar system to save money and 23 percent said that the competitive pricing of solar was their chief reason. 

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Water infrastructure—sewer systems, wastewater systems, drinking water delivery systems and so much more—deliver vitally important services that every home, business and school benefit from. Overall, these systems average a “D” rating from the American Society of Civil Engineers. Clean water is life, but we undervalue the systems that deliver it.

It’s time to leverage the job and economic growth potential of investing in our water infrastructure systems. On Monday at Good Jobs, Green Jobs, groups including the Operating Engineers Local 66, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, Green For All and Pittsburgh UNITED talked about what more we can be doing to take advantage of opportunities investing in water infrastructure.

There are already some great examples out there of how these investments would benefit us all. In Howard County, Maryland, an organization began looking at water infrastructure in partnership with a nearby faith-based coalition. They were able to get to work on green infrastructure installation projects in churches, which helped to meet the goals of the local utility managing storm water and put people to work.

In Philadelphia Shift Design, a green infrastructure design firm has developed a host of projects for homeowners such as a rain barrel that fits homeowners’ needs.

And, in Cleveland, a program called Vacant to Vibrant is helping to develop the best ways to manage storm water. By growing greenery on vacant parcels of land and monitoring the vacant lots to see if they do better with regard to storm water management during storms, the city is getting a better picture of what’s working and what’s not.

Not far away in Pittsburgh, the city’s three rivers are a source of pride. A growing problem with storm water management and water quality in the rivers has prompted city officials and other local organizations to take a look at how better water management can be put to use. Local governments that need to pave their streets anyway are finding the benefits of using permeable pavement for example(which costs a little more but improves storm water management) is a win-win.

The problem of 860 billion gallons of untreated sewage escaping into our waterways every year isn’t going away unless we take action. There increasing cost associated with treating the water so it’s drinkable is an economic opportunity. Repairing America’s water system will go a long way to ensuring we have clean, drinkable water and that family-sustaining jobs are created in communities around the country.

 

 

 

 

 

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“We can create jobs and fix our environmental problems by Repairing America.”

With those words, BlueGreen Alliance Foundation President David Foster kicked off the 2014 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference—a two-day conference dedicated to bringing together the environmental, labor, business and allied communities around the need to invest in America’s infrastructure in order to prepare for climate change. 

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard both reiterated labor’s commitment addressing climate change and repairing America’s infrastructure. 

“Today you’re focusing on the biggest challenges facing or society: climate change and restoring economic prosperity,” said Trumka. “I’m here on behalf of the labor movement to tell you we remain committed to stopping runaway climate change. There is no other path for our children and grandchildren. We must keep up the fight for generations to come.”

Climate change, Gerard explained, is not a problem any individual country or organization can solve alone. “It isn’t called Pittsburgh warming or Chicago warming. It’s global warming.” 

Trumka echoed Gerard’s call for cooperation, saying, “The people who want to solve climate change must engage with the people whose jobs are at stake. The challenge of climate change can only be solved when we find a formula of clean energy that meets every day peoples’ needs.”

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The Meeting Point Blog

The first session of the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference kicked off Sunday evening with a dynamic panel of speakers who are at the forefront of the national discussion about how we address our nation’s failing infrastructure and address climate change. 

The five panelists included Rick Terven, Political Director for the United Association (UA); Marc Norberg, Assistant to the General President for Sheet Metal Workers Union of America (SMWIA); Jim Harrison a National Representative for the Utility Workers Union of America; Leo Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW) and Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. 

All of the speakers were united in the fact that we’re all stronger when we work together. Representing a diverse cross section of America who speak for millions of environmentalists, workers who install heating and ventilation systems, maintain our utility systems, maintain our vast network of pipes, and forge American made steel, the speakers spoke to the fact that climate change is an opportunity, not an obligation. 

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I'm Going to Good Jobs, Green Jobs

Pre-registration for the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference is now closed. You will still be able to register at the Washington Hilton at the Registration desk.

Registration will be open:

Sunday: Noon - 7:00 p.m.
Monday: 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 7:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Registration for both days is $225. Registration for a single day of your choice is $125.

The Conference will feature many great speakers—including EPA Administrator Gina McCarthySenator Amy KlobucharSenator Jeff MerkleyCongresswoman Donna EdwardsCongressman Keith EllisonAFL-CIO President Richard Trumka—and over 50 workshops focused topics ranging from repairing America’s infrastructure systems to making workplaces and communities healthy and safe to how businesses are leading the way to a more sustainable future—and much more.

See you at the Hilton (directions, for those looking, are here)!

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Much More Than Just 50 Workshops – 9 Tracks

  ·  Sandra Boone, Communications Associate for the BlueGreen Alliance,

50 Workshops-9 Tracks-2 Days

following blog is by Sandra Boone, Communications Associate for the BlueGreen Alliance. 

One month ago, we shared a blog and the graphic on the right to give you a by-the-numbers taste of what you’ll experience during the two days of the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference. Well, we are almost there now! The agenda has grown and so there are a lot more numbers to share. 

First, we now have more than 150 presenters taking part in 50+ workshops broken into 9 tracks called:

Second, 23 speakers will be addressing the Conference during our three plenary sessions. They include some of America’s most influential governmental, business, environmental, labor and community leaders—including Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

Third, we will be continuing all of the discussion happening inside at the Conference online with two hashtags (#gjgj2014 and #RepairAmerica) and our two social media accounts (Twitter and Facebook). Make sure to join in—even if you couldn’t make it to the Conference.

Fourth, there are 50 Sponsors and nearly 100 Conveners for this Conference. This event couldn’t happen without you, so thank you very much. 

And finally, there will be eight side events (including two that are being held twice) happening alongside the Conference, sponsored by other organizations. 

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Water and PipesAmerica is a connected by pipelines. Whether they deliver the water we drink, the natural gas that many rely on for energy, or transport waste and stormwater to be properly treated, America’s pipelines and basic infrastructure play a vital role in our lives and economy.

Many of these critical infrastructure systems have been neglected for too long, and major investments are needed. Every day there are an estimated 850 water main breaks in North America, and significant portions of America’s natural gas pipelines are more than a century old and built from materials such as cast iron and unprotected steel that are much more prone to leakage than advanced materials available today. All of this means wasted energy, wasted resources and excess carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.

Now is the time for America to invest in repairing the basic infrastructure systems we use every day. Waiting is not an option, and these investments will mean the creation of thousands of good, family-sustaining jobs all across the United States.

Those jobs will be the topic of the Water and Pipes track at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference.

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I'm Going to Good Jobs, Green Jobs

We will be shutting down online registration for the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference at NOON CENTRAL today, Friday, February 7. You will be also be able to register on site at the Conference, but making your reservation now will save you time at check in. 

See speakers like EPA Administrator Gina McCarthySenator Amy KlobucharSenator Jeff MerkleyCongresswoman Donna EdwardsCongressman Keith Ellison; AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka; and many other great business, labor, civic, and environmental leaders.

Secure your spot the easy way by registering online before Noon CT on Friday, February 7.

The Conference features over 50 workshops focused topics ranging from repairing America’s infrastructure systems to making workplaces and communities healthy and safe to how businesses are leading the way to a more sustainable future—and much more.

See you next week! 

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One of the questions frequently asked by policy makers is whether green skills have a role to play in reducing poverty and providing greater access to underrepresented communities to good jobs and career ladders.

You’ll have an opportunity to learn about a diverse coalition in Minnesota that came together when the city of Minneapolis decided to construct a new $1 billion pro football stadium in Minnesota. Together, this innovative partnership—which includes community, labor and academic organizations along with business and government—is transforming the construction of a new football into an opportunity to increase the number of people of color, women, low-income and veterans in the workforce while also saving energy and decreasing waste.

The workshop—A New Pro Football Stadium Project Fights Poverty,Improves Environment While Putting People to Work—will be happening during the first workshop session on Monday, February 10 (10:30 AM -12:00 PM), and it is a not-to-be missed session for individuals wanting to know more about how green skills training—such as the BlueGreen Alliance’s GreenPOWER training—can help workers find work.

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The following blog—by Evan Feeney, Program Assistant for Government Affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council, is cross-posted from the NRDC's Switichboard.

Watching the Warsaw climate negotiations unfold in October, made me feel disenfranchised as a young person fighting to reverse climate change. I felt like my voice, and more importantly, the voice of my generation was not being heard. And it got me thinking about why we young people are constantly excluded from these discussions and are rarely, if ever, asked for input, despite the fact that these are problems that will define ours and future generations, far more than it will define any previous generation.

It seems to me that we end up being excluded, in part, because we youth are not a unified bloc with a coherent message. We come from different communities and backgrounds with frames that do not always easily blend together. When it comes to sitting down with policy makers and creating a vision for the future, we need to have a well-articulated and inclusive message. That is one of the main reasons why NRDC, as a member of the BlueGreen Alliance, is helping to host the Youth Climate Caucus at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference this year.

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TransportationWe use them every day, but our roads, bridges, and transit systems are not ready for the impacts of climate change.

More than just an inconvenience, the decaying state of America’s transportation network is an environmental and economic problem. The time we spending weaving through detours and idling in gridlock means wasted gas and extra carbon emissions. A lack of access to transit means a less mobile society. And, without dependable transportation options, businesses cannot transport their goods or personnel from place to place or their products to consumers.

Despite that fact, America has failed to make vital investments in our transportation networks. This has left us with roads that are potholed and congested, deficient bridges that cannot be driven on by trucks due to new weight limits, and countless Americans, including those in disadvantaged populations, who cannot get to job interviews or work because of a lack of affordable and reliable transit options.

It is time America makes a serious investment to Repair our transportation systems, and we will be discussing what that means during the Transportation track at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference.

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The Meeting Point Blog

In the past, sustainability was considered a cost. Now, however, companies all across the United States—ranging in size from America’s largest corporations to small businesses—are now recognizing that sustainability is not just the responsible thing to do; it is also good for the bottom line.

Good Jobs, Green Jobs conference attendees have an exciting opportunity to hear the story of how three companies—UPSInternational Paper and General Motors—decided to make sustainability a integral part of their business plans during the Sustainability and the Bottom Line workshop happening on Monday, February 10 at 2:00-3:30 p.m.

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Schools and CommunitiesIt seems impossible to believe, but many of America’s children go to schools that are outdated or even hazardous to their health. According to a report released by the U.S. General Accounting Office, 15,000 of America’s school buildings have air that is deemed “unsafe to breathe” and 25,000 schools are in extensive need of repair and replacement. In the nearly 20 years since such a comprehensive report has been released, our nation’s educational facilities have continued to suffer from neglect.

That is simply not acceptable. Our children deserve to have modern, green, and safe institutions where they can learn and grow. Building green schools is not just about the materials and technologies that were used when a building is constructed. It is also about ensuring the building is properly maintained and that safe products are used to clean it—and, that students are taught the value of sustainability and environmental stewardship.

The good news is that the effort to build healthy schools has seen great progress in recent years, with the passage of measures like Proposition 39 in California that dedicated $2.5 billion of funding for energy efficiency and clean energy projects in K-12 public schools and community colleges in the state.

But we can’t stop at just having more efficient and healthy schools. We need to utilize innovation and technology to make our all buildings—public and private—better. Find out more about what is being done around the country during the Schools and Communities workshop track at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference.

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NWF Gears Up for 2014 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference

  ·  Courtney Cochran, Program Coordinator for NWF's Campus Ecology Program,

The following blog—by Courtney Cochran, Program Coordinator for NWF's Campus Ecology Program, was originally posted on NWF's Wildlife Promise blog.

Now in its seventh year, the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference will be in Washington, D.C., February 10-11, 2014. As a proud sponsor of the conference, National Wildlife Federation is excited to once again have a strong presence at this year’s conference representing the diverse ways in which we are working to build a clean, green economy that works to address the threats of climate change, creates family-sustaining jobs and protects wildlife for our children’s future. You are welcome to join us at the Youth Caucus on Sunday, the keynote address by NWF President and CEO Larry Schweiger on Tuesday, or please stop by our interactive exhibit. NWF is also hosting several workshops on offshore wind, green workforce development, and more, see below for more details. We hope to see you at the conference!

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I'm Going to Good Jobs, Green Jobs

Due to increased demand, we’re extending the deadline to register online for the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference—February 10-11 in Washington, D.C.

You now have until Friday, February 7 at Noon CT to register for this timely and important Conference. After that, you can still attend, but you’ll have to register onsite at the event.

Register now.

See speakers like EPA Administrator Gina McCarthySenator Amy KlobucharSenator Jeff MerkleyCongresswoman Donna EdwardsCongressman Keith Ellison; AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka; and many other great business, labor, civic, and environmental leaders.

Secure your spot the easy way by registering online before Noon CT on Friday, February 7.

The Conference features over 50 workshops focused topics ranging from repairing America’s infrastructure systems to making workplaces and communities healthy and safe to how businesses are leading the way to a more sustainable future—and much more.

 

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The Meeting Point Blog

We have a new addition to the Good Jobs, Green Jobs speakers listSenator Amy Klobuchar.

Senator Klobuchar has worked tirelessly to create stronger and healthier communities. She is a leader in the effort to repair America’s infrastructure and build a more robust, clean, and prosperous economy for all of us.

Good Jobs, Green Jobs is two days of networking with business, civic, non-profit, union and environmental leaders; informative and interactive workshops focused on every part of the clean economy.

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The ads from Sunday’s big game say you should attend the 2014 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference

  ·  Zoe Lipman, Senior Policy Advisor for the BlueGreen Alliance,

The following blog is from Zoe Lipman, a Senior Policy Advisor for the BlueGreen Alliance.

You may think you were just watching Seattle beat Denver interspersed with car and beer ads and no Beyoncé. In fact you were watching extremely cost-effective subliminal advertising for the transportation workshops at next week’s Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference.

Like the ad where dad saves the kid from imminent disaster over and over until the car does? Now you know you want to know more about the Internet of Things…and you can do that at the workshop on the connected vehicles on Monday, February 10th at 3:40 p.m.  How is it connected? To the driver? To other cars? To the transportation system? To the grid? And, beyond safety and entertainment, what benefits does Machine-2-Machine technology bring for the environment?

Believe in Importing from Detroit but not sure Bob Dylan had all the details? On Tuesday morning, February 11th at 10:30 a.m. get the low down on the big opportunities now to grow the high tech transportation supply chain all across the U.S.  Find out how we’re capturing the next big thing in cars, trucks, buses, trains and logistics (and also Detroit does build watches, but there’s no session on that at the Conference). Speaking of what it takes to turn innovation and investment into jobs here in the U.S., if the can-do American floor mat company got you thinking, hear more on what we’ve learned locally and federally about delivering on jobs promises on Monday morning at 10:30.

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Restoring Common Sense to Our System: Repairing Our Democracy

“In the coming months, let’s see where else we can make progress together.  Let’s make this a year of action.  That’s what most Americans want—for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives, their hopes, their aspirations.”
- President Barack Obama in the 2014 State of the Union

The issues facing America today—like climate change and the crumbling state of our country’s infrastructure—are too large for any individual group or industry to have the answers alone. Thanks to partisan gridlock, however, it seems to be impossible to find and pass the comprehensive solutions we need to Repair America, and it could be easy to get frustrated and defeated.

Rather than becoming discouraged, we need to look at these roadblocks as a motivator for our work. The logjam in Washington shows why we need to reach out to build broad-based coalitions like the ones that we celebrate at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference. Only by working together, will we be able to cut through the gridlock in Washington and Repair America.

So what are some of the opportunities currently available for us to work together, and what can we do to build the movement for a fairer, cleaner economy? Participants in the Restoring Common Sense to Our System track at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference will have an opportunity to answer these questions and work together in creating a roadmap for our work going forward.

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Putting Cancer Out of a Job

  ·  Lee Anderson, Senior Policy and Legislative Advocate for the BlueGreen Alliance,

The following blog was written by Lee Anderson, Senior Policy and Legislative Advocate for the BlueGreen Alliance. This post is part of a series of blogs by workshop presenters previewing the workshops coming up at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference.

At the upcoming Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference, I will be moderating a panel entitled Transforming Chemical Policy in Congress and in the Workplace. The panel discussion—scheduled for Monday, February 10 at 3:40 PM—will be covering the issue of chemical exposure in the workplace and the ongoing effort to reform our foremost national chemical law, known as the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, or TSCA.

Whether in the form of asthma, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, or a host of other illnesses, chemical exposures are making American workers sick. While the rate of workplace fatalities is much too high, occupational disease actually kills 10 times as many workers as physical accidents. Chemicals in the products we all use, the air we all breathe, the food we all eat, and the water we all drink, only add to on-the-job exposures. In this workshop we’ll talk about efforts in Congress, in the states, and in unionized workplaces, to identify dangerous chemicals and replace them with safer alternatives—including our new campaign entitled “Let’s Put Breast Cancer Out of Work.”

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Registration DeadlineThe online registration deadline for the 2014 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference—February 10-11 in Washington, D.C.—is approaching fast! 

After Wednesday, February 5 at Midnight CT, you'll have to register on-site at the Conference. Register online today to secure your spot at this timely and important event. 

Featuring dynamic speakers, including EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy; Senator Jeff Merkley of OregonCongressman Keith EllisonAFL-CIO President Richard TrumkaUnited Steelworkers International President Leo W. GerardSierra Club Executive Director Michael BruneDr. Beverly Wright, Founder of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University in New Orleans; Kevin McKnight, Vice President, Environment, Health & Safety and Chief Sustainability Officer of Alcoa; and many more (with more exciting announcements to come next week!).

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Volunteer

Whether you are helping at the registration desk, greeting conference participants or making sure workshops run smoothly, volunteers play a vital role in helping make the Conference a highly successful event.

To show appreciation for the great work volunteers do, we will waive the registration fee for any individual who commits to volunteering for at least four hours over the course of the Conference. That means you'll be able to get into the Conference—and see any of the great speakers and workshops we'll have—for FREE!

Go here to sign up for a volunteer shift, so you don't miss this great opportunity to attend the 2014 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference—the Conference where Jobs and the Environment meet.

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Approximately 40,000 U.S. manufacturing plants closed between 2001 and 2008. This meant the loss of millions of good-paying jobs, including those belonging to union members and their families. To bring manufacturing all the way back in the U.S., we need smart policies and investments that will drive growth in clean energy manufacturing and green chemical manufacturing, while making our current manufacturing facilities more efficient.  And, while keeping our communities safe from hazards, like chemical spills.

Whether you are a union worker wanting to improve the safety of your workplace and your community, a manufacturer looking for new market opportunities, or you are an environmentalists pushing for the development of clean, 21st century technologies, we all have a role in making a cleaner and more efficient manufacturing sector. How we do that, is what we will be talking about during the Manufacturing track at the 2014 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference.

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Senator Merkley Joins the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Speakers List

  ·  David Foster, BlueGreen Alliance Foundation President,

Senator Jeff Merkley

It’s my honor to announce that Senator Jeff Merkley will be speaking at the 2014 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference. Senator Merkley is a leading voice for building a strong clean energy economy in the United States and tackling climate change.

We’re proud to have speakers like Senator Merkley at Good Jobs, Green Jobs. As the chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy, he is at the forefront of the policy discussion on how we create family-sustaining jobs, while preserving our environment.

Join us there February 10-11 in Washington, D.C. Register now to secure your spot at this timely and important event!

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The Meeting Point Blog

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will be speaking at the 2014 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference—taking place February 10-11 in Washington, D.C.

Register now to secure your spot at this timely and important event!

Administrator McCarthy is a leading advocate for common-sense strategies to protect public health and the environment. During her career, which spans over 30 years, she has worked at the federal, state, and local levels on critical environmental issues and helped coordinate policies on economic growth, energy, transportation and the environment.

Register now for Good Jobs, Green Jobs to see Administrator McCarthy and many other dynamic speakers talk about the vital importance of repairing America’s infrastructure, creating family-sustaining jobs, and protecting the health of our communities and our environment.

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Combined Heat and Power: Fueling Our Economy and Keeping the Power On

  ·  Roxanne Johnson, Research Analyst for the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation,

The following blog is by Roxanne Johnson, a Research Analyst for the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation.

Good Jobs, Green Jobs is only two weeks away! I am excited to be a speaker in a session which will focus on the enormous opportunity for Combined Heat and Power (CHP) to increase both energy efficiency and the reliability of our electricity grid—all while creating jobs here in the United States. The session, Combined Heat and Power: Fueling Our Economy and Keeping the Power On, is Tuesday morning and will include myself, Senior Program Manager Jennifer Kefer from the Alliance for Industrial Efficiency, Energy Project Manager Brad Bathgate from PWI Engineering, and Senior Director for Government Affairs Tom Dower from ArcelorMittal.

CHP, also known as cogeneration, is an integrated system that generates both electricity and thermal energy from a single fuel. When waste heat is captured and used to generate power, this type of CHP is called Waste Heat to Power (WHP). Generating electricity and heat together increases efficiency from near 45 percent up to 75 percent. And higher efficiency means that less fuel needs to be burned to produce the same amount of power and less carbon emissions are produced. In fact, CHP can reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent from conventional power generation. CHP can also save money, increase reliability of electricity, and create economic opportunities for U.S. manufacturers.

Right now only eight percent (82 GW) of U.S. electricity generation capacity is CHP. An Executive Order issued in 2012 aims to add 40 GW of new, cost-effective installed capacity by 2020—that’s a 50 percent increase from today’s levels—but that’s only a fraction of the potential opportunity!

Fueling our Economy

I will be sharing findings from a soon-to-be-released BlueGreen Alliance report that I’ve been working on that aims to identify opportunities created for workers when CHP projects are developed. The report, titled Combined Heat and Power: An Opportunity for U.S. Workers, examines job creation and retention statistics from a working paper out of Georgia Tech and digs deeper into what those numbers mean for construction and manufacturing workers. The working paper, The Job Generation Impacts of Expanding Industrial Cogeneration, models scenarios of increased CHP development from federal financial support.

Tom Dower from ArcelorMittal will be talking about actual construction jobs created by their WHP project at the Indiana Harbor plant in Indiana. He will also talk about the components required for the installation and what kinds of manufacturing opportunities those represent.

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The Meeting Point Blog

American workers use tens of thousands of chemicals every day. While many of these chemicals are suspected of being harmful, only a small number are regulated in the workplace.
- United States Department of Labor

Making a cleaner and fairer economy is not all about brand new technologies and fancy new gadgets; it is also about looking at the products we are already make and ensuring they are made in the safest and smartest manner possible.

While it is not obvious to all, the health and safety of our workers in inextricably linked to the safety of our environment and our communities. This idea has always been at the heart of the labor movement, and it must be one of the core parts in our efforts to Repair America and create a cleaner economy.

The Health and Safety track at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference is always an popular track for union members, environmentalists and others who want to learn more about needs to be done to protect our workers, communities and the environment. 

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Creating Good, Green JobsIn order to prepare the world for climate change, environmental responsibility and sustainability can no longer be a catch phrase or the responsibility of specific workers. We know that, instead, we must work for a world where every job is considered a “green” job. But what does that mean exactly, and what does that mean for future workers? 

As part of the Creating Good, Green Jobs workshop track at the 2014 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference will have an opportunity to discuss these questions and gain an understanding of the jobs that are already being created as we move to a cleaner, more efficient economy.

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The Ultimate Mobile Device: Connected cars that are safer, cooler, and greener

  ·  Susan Diegelman, Director of Public Affairs for AT&T,

Chevy VoltThe following blog was written by Susan Diegelman, Director of Public Affairs for AT&T. Learn about AT&T’s Sustainability efforts on the company’s website. 

What if your car could provide you with real-time information to help you make more eco-friendly choices—choices that lessen the environmental impact of your car while not changing your driving experience?  Connected cars—cars equipped with high-speed Internet access—have the capability to do that and more. Aptly described as "smartphones with wheels," connected cars include sophisticated telematics and infotainment systems that can enhance safety, security, and functionality, as well as reduce the impact that motor vehicles have on the environment.

At the upcoming Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference, now in its seventh year, attendees will have an opportunity to learn about these connected cars in a panel titled, "'Connected' Cars are Cleaner Cars," occurring on Monday, February 10 from 3:40-5:10 p.m. This year’s conference theme is "Repair America," with a focus on repairing the infrastructures and systems we all rely on to ensure the health and safety of our communities while addressing climate change. Connected cars offer opportunities for “greener” transportation through reducing fuel consumption and emissions and can be viewed as one near-term solution to our nation’s energy challenge.


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The Meeting Point Blog

“America relies on an aging electrical grid and outdated pipeline distribution systems, some of which originated in the 1880s. Investment in power transmission has increased since 2005, but ongoing permitting issues, weather events, and limited maintenance have contributed to an increasing number of failures and power interruptions.”
-  American Society of Civil Engineers, “2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure”

Despite the continuous need for energy, America is relying on an aging energy infrastructure system that was most recently rated a “D+” by the American Society of Engineers. In addition to raising reliability concerns—an issue that, according to the Department of Energy, will only get worse as temperatures increase due to climate change—this lack of investment raises/presents significant safety concerns for the union men and women who make their living repairing America’s transmission infrastructure.

In order to Repair America and prepare our communities for climate change, we must develop a smart, 21st century energy grid that can efficiently and reliably deliver energy from where it is generated to the end user.  We must also move our economy to cleaner and smarter forms of energy like solar, offshore wind, combined heat and power, and advanced energy storage systems.

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Regional Carbon Pricing

  ·  Barbara Byrd, Secretary-Treasurer of the Oregon AFL-CIO and the Oregon BlueGreen Apollo Alliance,

The following blog is by Barbara Byrd, Secretary-Treasurer of the Oregon AFL-CIO and the Oregon BlueGreen Apollo Alliance.

No progress in Warsaw, not much in D.C. nor Ottawa either. But could the West Coast take the lead in dealing with climate change?

Last October, the Governors of Washington, Oregon and California, and the Prime Minister of British Columbia signed the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, which lays out a framework for action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including pricing and limiting carbon. Whether or not this agreement will result in significant progress, it challenges labor and the environmental community to come together to advance a more ambitious climate agenda.

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The Meeting Point Blog

“This is the global threat of our time and for the sake of future generations, our generation must move toward a global compact to confront a changing climate before it is too late. That is our job, that is our task, we need to get to work.”
- President Barack Obama, June 19, 2013

Climate change stands not only as one of the greatest challenges of our time; it also is our opportunity to create the fairer, cleaner economy we want to give to our children.

Work is already being done across the country to prepare our communities for the impacts of climate change, but more needs to be done. In 2013, there were seven weather and climate disaster events that caused financial losses exceeding $1 billion. In total, these events killed more than 100 people.

So, in the face of the impacts climate change will have on our communities:

  • How do we address climate change while also ensuring the creation of quality, family-sustaining jobs?
  • What opportunities are out there for training America’s workforce for jobs in clean energy sectors?
  • How do we increase resiliency so that we are building or rebuilding smarter and stronger?
  • And how do we build coalitions to ensure economic and environmental justice in addressing climate change? 
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Hotel DeadlineTomorrow, January 24, is the deadline to secure your hotel room for Good Jobs, Green Jobs—February 10-11 in Washington, D.C.

If you book your room now, you can enjoy special, discounted rates on your room at the Washington Hilton of $229 a night for a Delux room with either two double beds or one king. 

Get your room at the Washington Hilton Hotel today.

This is an incredibly timely and important Conference, featuring great speakers like EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, and Congressman Keith Ellison. There will be informative and interactive workshops on topics ranging from climate resiliency to repairing water and natural gas pipelines to health and safety in the workplace.

Book your room and then register for the Conference now!

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AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka at Good Jobs, Green JobsWith the Conference drawing closer, we are very pleased to announce that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will be speaking at the 2014 Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference—happening February 10-11 in Washington, D.C.

We were honored to have President Trumka address the Conference last year and in 2010, and his message about the importance of creating jobs and bringing working men and women together with environmentalists and others electrified all of the people there:

“Instead of talking about ‘my’ issues or ‘your issues’ we ought to be talking about ‘our’ issues. For the record, we firmly believe in and trust a science-based approach to regulating our environment, and we know that climate change is real. We also know responding to climate change will give America a competitive economic advantage in the global marketplace.”

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The Role of Business in Repairing America and Creating a New Economy

  ·  Fran Teplitz, Director of Social Investing & Policy for Green America,

The following blog—writted by Fran Teplitz, Director of Social Investing & Policy for Green America—was originally posted on the Green America blog.

As you begin to fill your 2014 calendar–if you can be in the nation’s capital in February now is the time to make sure you’ve registered for the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference that will be held at the Washington Hilton Hotel on February 10th and 11th. The focus of the 2014 conference is on repairing the systems we all rely on to create good jobs, address the climate crisis, and promote the health and safety of our workplaces and communities.

Green America is proud to serve as a conference convener once again and to speak at a workshop on February 11th at 1pm on The Role of Business in Repairing America and Creating a New Economy.

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Making A Living On A Living Planet

  ·  Joe Uehlein, President and Executive Director of the Labor Network for Sustainability,

The following blog is by Joe Uehlein, President and Executive Director of the Labor Network for Sustainability. This post is part of a series of blogs by workshop presenters previewing what they'll be talking about the Conference. If you're a workshop presenter who would like to submit an item, please contact us. 

We face a climate crisis and an economic crisis, and they can be solved with the same set of policies.  The Labor Network for Sustainability workshop, Making A Living On A Living Planet, (happening on Monday, February 10 from 2:00-3:30) will explore the kind of National Program needed to create a sustainable future for the planet and its people, and the kind of coalitions needed to establish these programs.  This National Program will have to include just transition programs for impacted workers while creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs in repairing America's infrastructure, creating climate resiliency, and dramatically reducing carbon emissions.  To advance these programs deeper cooperation between the labor, climate justice, economic justice, and environmental movements will be needed. 

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Making the Investment Count

  ·  Emily Fleury, Senior Policy Associate at the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce,

This blog is by Emily Fleury, Senior Policy Associate at the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce. This post is the first in a series of blogs by workshop presenters previewing what they'll be talking about the Conference. If you're a workshop presenter who would like to submit an item, please contact us.

Federal investments made in green jobs would mean nothing if colleges and training partners weren’t able to identify the skills workers need to match the industries’ changing technology needs. Building effective partnerships between academia, communities, and businesses is essential to foster new technology development and related skills training.

For over twenty years, the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce has worked hundreds of partnerships across the country to help colleges and training partners maneuver the murky water between what students need in order to achieve and the skills employers need in order to grow. 

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50 Workshops-9 Tracks-2 DaysIn addition to engaging plenary speakers, one of the most interesting parts of the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference—coming up February 10-11 in Washington, D.C.—is the opportunity to attend informative workshops led by union members; environmentalists; state and local government officials; agency officials; business and industry representatives; and issue experts.

Take a minute to check out the the slate of approximately 50 workshops we’ll have at the Conference. They are broken up into nine issue tracks called:

  • Climate Resiliency and Adaptation: Repairing and Preparing for a Changing Climate;
  • Creating Good, Green Jobs: Repairing Our Economy;
  • Energy: Repairing and Transforming Our Energy Systems;
  • Health and Safety: Repairing the Health and Safety of Our Workplaces, Our Communities and the Environment;
  • Manufacturing: Repairing and Transforming Our Manufacturing Base;
  • Restoring Common Sense to Our System: Repairing Our Democracy;
  • Schools and Communities: Repairing Our Schools and Our Communities to Be Healthy and Safe;
  • Transportation: Repairing And Transforming Our Transportation Systems; and
  • Water and Pipes: Repairing the Infrastructure Under Us.
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I'm Going to Good Jobs, Green JobsWe've made a special badge that you can use to let your friend know you'll be going to the 2014 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference February 10-11. You can either download the image the badge on the right and upload it yourself or use the following links to share it on Facebook and Twitter:

  • Facebook (Go to this page when logged into Facebook and hit SHARE below the image to share it on your wall)
  • Twitter (Go to this page when logged into your Twitter account and click Retweet)

We look forward to seeing you in February as we discuss the need to Repair America and prepare our country for the impacts of climate change.

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If you’ve been to the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference before, you probably have your own reasons, but here are a few good reasons why you should sign up for the Conference happening February 10-11 in Washington, D.C.

Register here.

  1. Repair America. That’s the theme of Good Jobs, Green Jobs this year. The systems we rely on every day—for energy, water, to communicate with each other, the schools where our children learn, and much more—are the backbone of our country. We’ve put off repairs too long. Acting now to Repair America will create family-sustaining jobs, address climate change by reducing energy waste and carbon pollution, and ensure our communities and workplaces are safe and healthy.
  2. Our keynote speakers and panelists. Every year, we have dynamic keynote speakers (we’ve announced just a few that will be at the Conference this year and there will be many more to be announced in the near future) that are leading America to a cleaner economy and a healthier environment. 
  3. Exhibits featuring businesses leading the way in the clean economy. Get an inside look at which companies are leading the way in environmental innovation and good, family-supporting jobs.
  4. It’s an incredible value. You get three plenary sessions—featuring panels of experts and keynote speakers—and dozens of informative workshops over two days for only $225 for both days or $125 for the single day of your choice.
  5. Our coalition. Every year gather a broad coalition of Conference Conveners—organizations that help get the word out about the Conference. From labor groups to progressive and social justice organizations to foundations and higher education institutions, the Conveners are an invaluable component to our success year after year. And, their work and participation in the Conference make this an event you don't want to miss. 
  6. The people. Every year, I come away from the Conference having met people that inspired me with the work they are doing in their home states and cities to build a better future for all of us. The Networking Reception—and the many other breaks, workshops, and events—offer opportunities to meet new people and become inspired, or just catch up with old friends. 

So, those are just a few of the reasons to attend the 2014 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference, happening February 10-11 in Washington D.C. What are yours? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter (#gjgj2014), and sign up today.

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The Meeting Point Blog

A lot has changed since the first Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference in 2008. But, even as some things have changed (like our website, for example), other things—like the informative workshops and dynamic speakers featured at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference year in and year out—have stood the test of time.

Today, we are excited to announce just a few of the speakers you’ll see at Good Jobs, Green Jobs 2014.

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Congressman Keith Ellison from Minnesota is a champion for good jobs and a clean environment. He is the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and he’s been a featured speaker at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs several times.

The Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference is a great event, but don’t take our word for it.

Take it from Congressman Ellison.  

Registration is only $225. Sign up today and secure your spot at Good Jobs, Green Jobs 2014.

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The 2014 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference — which takes place February 10-11 in Washington, D.C. at the Washington Hilton Hotel — is focused on repairing the systems Americans rely on every day, whether getting us back and forth to work, supplying our power, keeping us safe from storms and floods, communicating with police and fire during emergencies, or ensuring the institutions where our children learn are safe and healthy. It's time to repair these systems today to create quality, family-sustaining jobs, to address the threat of climate change, and to ensure the health and safety of our workplaces and our communities.

Join thousands of business and community leaders, union members, and environmentalists at Good Jobs, Green Jobs 2014 and take up the call to Repair America. Don’t wait. Register today for only 225!

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Editors Note: This offer is now closed, but registration is still open for the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference. Regular registration is now $225 for both days of the Conference.

To celebrate the New Year, we're extending our special savings on registration for the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference.

From now through Friday, January 3, you can save $30 off your registration for the Conference—taking place February 10-11 in Washington, D.C. Register today.

Good Jobs, Green Jobs 2014 will be a tremendous event with dynamic speakers, interactive and informative workshops, and opportunities to connect with leaders from across America who are building a stronger economy and healthier environment for all of us. 

Register today for only $195 (that's $30 off the full price!) and join us in February.

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We talk about the importance of using safer chemicals at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference.  Every year, workers suffer more than 190,000 illnesses and 50,000 deaths that are related to chemical exposures, and workplace chemical exposures have been linked to cancers, and other lung, kidney, skin, heart, stomach, brain, nerve, and reproductive diseases.

One of the obstacles that workers and companies encounter when they want to move to safer chemicals is how to find information—if it is publicly available—about the tens of thousands of chemicals Americans interact with in every day life.

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Thank you for helping us make the 2013 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference a great success! Over 1,800 union workers, environmentalists, business and non-profit leaders gathered in Washington, D.C. to learn about current trends and emerging issues, as well build relationships with people from around the country.

After an exciting day of pre-Conference events, the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference kicked off on April 16 with a great morning session led off by BlueGreen Alliance Foundation President David Foster. The keynote speakers and panelists on Day One included Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, United Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard, and many more leaders in Congress, the business community and the labor and environmental movements.

Make sure you check out video, photos , and blogs from the Conference.

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The following is excerpts from a blog by Gina Coplon-Newfield, Director of the Sierra Club's Green Fllets & Electric Vehicles Initiative. Read the full blog on the Sierra Club's Compass blog.

According to Brad Markell, Executive Director of the AFL-CIO's Industrial Union Council, increased investment in advanced vehicle technology is leading to more domestic jobs. "Why do hybrids and electric vehicles produce more jobs?" asked Markell. "New content," he answered. "Somebody has to engineer it, create production tools, and put the vehicles together."

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The following item is cross-posted from the Sierra Club's Compass blog.

Last week in Washington, DC, labor union members, environmentalists, business owners, community leaders and elected officials from across the nation came together for the Good Jobs, Green Jobs 2013 national conference. These broad interests gathered to engage in one of the nation's largest discussions on how to address the climate crisis by building a cleaner, more efficient economy that creates good-paying American jobs.

The conference was jam-packed with leaders like House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse sharing their ideas about building strategic partnerships to fight for a clean energy economy. One of the first panels of the event featured the Sierra Club's own Michael Brune as well as labor leaders Larry Cohen of the Communications Workers of America, Mike Fishman of Service Employees International Union, Leo Gerard of the United Steelworkers, and David Foster of the BlueGreen Alliance for a discussion of how the labor and environmental movements can come together to build a strong economy and a cleaner environment. 

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The follow is an excerpt from a blog by Mike Jacobs, Senior Energy Analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientist. See the full post, including graphics on their website.

I recently spoke at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs conference on the question: Could all U.S. manufacturing be powered by renewable electricity? 

This is an excellent question if you are interested in the future of manufacturing and clean energy.

When asked to think about this, I figured I would point to studies about the future that say 20%, 30%, even 80% renewable electricity are possible. But I realized that in some places, that future has already arrived.

UCS recently released a report, Ramping Up Renewables: Energy You Can Count On, which summarizes plenty of evidence that our modern economy can run on renewable electricity supplies.

The report describes how the grid remains reliable with increasing amounts of variable energy generation from wind and solar power. (See how in the Ramping Up Renewables infographic.) Experience with wind power and solar providing over 50% of the electricity demand already in some times and places proves the electric utility industry knows how to make renewable energy reliable.See summary here.

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The following is cross-posted from the Communications Workers of Americas (CWA) website.

The fight for workers' rights is strongly linked to the fight for environmental rights.

That was the message at the opening panel of the BlueGreen Alliance's annual Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference in Washington, DC. On Monday, CWA President Larry Cohen joined Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, USW President Leo Gerard and SEIU Property Services Division Deputy Director Jon Barton in discussing the need for a broad progressive movement to both address climate change and create good jobs. David Foster, executive director of BlueGreen Alliance and president of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation, moderated the panel and took questions from the audience, who asked about everything from pipelines to the new Democracy Initiative.

"Let's put together climate change, democracy and workers' rights and stand up and fight back!" said Cohen to loud applause.

The panel agreed that their members were looking for innovative, creative solutions. A strong program toward retrofitting public buildings, starting with our nation's crumbling schools, would create good union jobs and improve energy efficiency. Repairing and replacing old, leak pipelines would be a boon to union workers and also cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The same goes for updating our outdated electrical grid and water infrastructure, as well as fixing our mass transit systems.

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It’s built right in Ohio.

New fuel efficiency guidelines are breaking all rules when it comes to notions about the kind of cars people want to buy. The fuel-efficient Chevy Cruze for example is proving that a car that’s good for the environment is the same kind of car that consumers want to buy.  A Wednesday afternoon workshop session that included Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH), Dan Boon from United Steelworkers, David Green with the United Auto Workers, Rob McCulloch from the BlueGreen Alliance and James Winship from IUE-CWA -- moderated by BlueGreen Alliance’s Lee Geisse -- was further testament to that fact.

Beyond the consumer and environmental benefits of the Chevy Cruze, workshop participants emphasized the importance of reading the label to see where products like the Chevy Cruze are manufactured. For example, a tire made in Akron, OH by Goodyear is the same price as a tire made by a Goodyear plant in China. We should make sure then that we’re all buying the tire that’s made in Akron, OH.

Much of the Chevy Cruze is manufactured in Ohio, the shocks and struts are made in Dayton (IUE Local 755), the steel for parts (USW Local 979) in Cleveland, the Cruze itself (stamping) is made by UAW Local 1714 Lordstown.

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A dynamic and energetic mix of speakers kicked off Wednesday workshops and discussions at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference. The opening speakers included members of Congress, state and local leaders, along with business and environmental speakers and a Goldman Prize winner showing tremendous bravery in Bogota, Columbia in pursuit of good, green jobs.

Freshman Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham emphasized in her message to attendees that there’s nothing more important than saving the planet. She added we should use every opportunity to make sure we create good jobs while doing so.

Following Congresswoman Grisham, Congressman Bobby Rush (IL-1) received the Green Jobs Champion Award Wednesday morning for his work raising awareness about a range of chemicals that consumers encounter in every day, and for being a tireless advocate for cleaner air and protecting public health. Congressman Rush has leveraged his position on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power to elevate the issue of climate change and draw national attention to how we can best deploy renewable energy.

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Even months after Super Storm Sandy, power hadn’t been restored to all residents on the East Coast. That was one of the many events that brought a serious problem to light: Our infrastructure systems — the energy, water and communications networks we rely on and use every day — have not changed, in many ways, since they were originally designed, and they are not able to keep up with the demands of 21st century living. This was the discussion of the second plenary panel during the 2013 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference on Tuesday, April 16.

As Mike Langford, National President of the Utility Workers Union of America, explained, “Our infrastructure is at the end of its life. That is why our national infrastructure earned a grade of D+… Don’t we deserve an A+ water and energy system?”

Nancy Stoner, Acting Assistant Administrator for Water at the Environmental Protection Agency added, “The good news is that investing in our water infrastructure creates jobs. We owe it to future generations to ensure they have safe drinking water like we have had.”

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Charlotte Brody from the BlueGreen Alliance led a panel of experts from IUE-CWA, United Steelworkers and Communications Workers of America (CWA) talking about the creation of ChemHat.org, a new chemical hazard web tool. The website reveals more about the contents of a chemical, exactly how dangerous it is and what happens when workers are exposed to it. 

The website provides a wealth of practical information. Many of the problems workers have with regard to chemicals in the workplace stems from a lack of information. For example, the information provided to workers on the chemicals they work with comes in the form of what's called an MSDS sheet. The formatting, fonts and clarity of information on these forms varies widely from one form to the next. In the case of an emergency where toxic chemical exposure takes place, information must be as easy as possible to locate. 

The research and impetus for the site came from IUE-CWA's Jim Clark. Having come up through the auto industry, where the worker safety guidelines are strong, he quickly learned this wasn't true of every sector of industry. When a worker in a recycling factory was killed, this renewed the push to make sure that members can go to work and come home safe and alive. 

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LaHoodThe Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference has attracted big name speakers over the years, and this year was no different. Tuesday afternoon, the attendees got to hear from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. 

“High speed rail is coming to America!” Ray LaHood declared to the audience. He also spoke of the importance of Buy America requirements and preparing our country’s infrastructure for climate change. “Construction materials for our new rail projects are coming from rail from facilities in 49 states. That’s good for our workers, good for our travelers and good for the economy. For everything we do, we have an eye on the future… America was built on big ideas and bold actions because generations before us had the courage and the foresight to invest in our future… We owe no less to our children and grandchildren.” 

Pelosi at GJGJHouse Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who previously received the BlueGreen Alliance’s Green Jobs Champion Award in 2009, stated the Good Jobs, Green Jobs agenda is a “great message.” She added, “There is no doubt this is our responsibility and we see it as an opportunity… Science has shown us human activities have had an effect on climate change. Your formula of good jobs, green jobs not only protects the environment, it grows the economy.”

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The 2013 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference kicked off this morning plenary session that had a theme and a rallying cry: “Let’s Get to Work: Climate Change, Infrastructure and Innovation.” Throughout all of the speeches, and the first plenary panel, the speakers talked about how climate change is both a challenge and an opportunity for our generation. 

As Congressman Henry Waxman noted, “For decades, the experts warned of the future danger of climate change. But, we’re seeing it now; climate change is no longer an issue for later.” Jacqueline Patterson, Director of the Climate Justice Program at the NAACP, later echoed this statement in saying, “Many people say that if we don’t change our practices, we will be in dangers of catastrophes happening due to climate change. Those lived in the areas of Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina know they’re already here.” 

Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, said “It is our job to create a clean energy vision and bring it to policymakers.” 

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The following item, written by Emily Basham, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, is excerpts from MCLV's blog. Read the full item on their site.

Recap from April 16:  Today marked the first day of the three day long Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference hosted annually in the heart of downtown Washington D.C. It was empowering to join more than 1,500 attendees and hear from leading elected officials, founders and presidents of progressive organizations.

Backed by the labor and environmental movement, this conference takes a stand on climate change and says Americans cannot wait any longer to take action. We are here to learn from leaders who are working to build a clean economy, create green jobs, and protect our environment so we can do the same.

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Addressing a standing room only crowd of union members, environmentalists and business leaders who are all prepared for an exciting few days ahead, David Foster, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance opened up the first Good Jobs, Green Jobs 2013 plenary session. Leo Gerard from United Steelworkers, Larry Cohen from Communications Workers of America, Jon Barton from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Michael Brune from Sierra Club all spoke about why they individually are engaged in the movement to build a stronger, cleaner economy and also why their respective organizations are also  leading the way.

Leo Gerard with United Steelworkers spoke about growing up in one of the most polluted towns in North America. Now at the head of the United Steelworkers organization, everyday he’s working to convince others about the importance of good jobs that protect the environment. He said, we won’t always agree on every item. He urged the need to go after the low-hanging fruit that’s going to create jobs. One example he gave was that more than 50 percent of schools in America are more than 60 years old and there’s millions of jobs in retrofitting schools and public buildings.

Speaking also about the impact pollution had on him when he was younger, Sierra Club’s Michael Brune  said that our biggest challenge is we think we can all take on this pursuit alone. He warned that we don’t just want to slow the rate of warming or the decline of the environment and if we’re fighting to win on climate change, we have to do it together.

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Over 1,800 union workers, environmentalists, business and non-profit leaders gathered in Washington, D.C. to learn about current trends and emerging issues, as well build relationships with people from around the country.

After an exciting day of pre-Conference events, the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference kicked off on April 16 with a great morning session led off by BlueGreen Alliance Foundation President David Foster. The keynote speakers and panelists on Day One included Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, United Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard, and many more leaders in Congress, the business community and the labor and environmental movements.

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After four successful national Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conferences, this year we decided to do something different and host four regional conferences in order to go directly to the states where work is being done to make good, green jobs.

Every conference was amazing, and we are very excited about the relationships that were formed and can’t wait to see what will come from them. Whether it was Georgia Congressman John Lewis reminding conference attendees at the Southern conference that environmentalists and union members are “one family” or hearing first-hand about the unfair and unsafe working conditions California’s recycling workers see every day at the Western Conference, each of the four regional conferences were unique, and the 2,500 participants from 910 organization got to have detailed conversations about what exactly needs to be done to get Americans to work in the good, green jobs we need as we move to the 21st century.

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In 2011, nearly 3,000 people gathered once again to hear from EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson; Deputy Transportation Secretary John Porcari; White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley; Minnesota Fifth District Congressman Keith Ellison; and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling.

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2010

In 2010, the Conference attracted more than 3,000 people in Washington, D.C. to participate in more than 100 workshops on a wide variety of green economy related topics and to hear from the likes of then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator John Kerry, Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu, and Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis. 

2009

At the 2009 Conference in Washington, D.C., nearly 3,000 gathered people to share ideas and strategies for building a green economy that creates good jobs and protects the environment.

2008

The first Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference was held in March of 2008 in Pittsburgh with nearly 1,000 attendees. 

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The Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference is the Conference where jobs and the environment meet. 

The first Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference was held in March of 2008 in Pittsburgh with nearly 1,000 attendees. At the 2009 Conference in Washington, D.C., nearly 3,000 gathered people to share ideas and strategies for building a green economy that creates good jobs and protects the environment. In 2012, over 2,500 people from over 900 organizations attended the four Regional Conferences that were held in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Detroit. 

Since then, the Conference has attracted thousands of business and community leaders, elected officials, union members and environmentalists for this unique strategy session on building a stronger, cleaner and more prosperous American economy. Past speakers have included EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senator John Kerry, in addition to a multitude of corporate, environmental and labor leaders.

Please take a moment to to view videos and photos of the past conferences.

2013 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference

2012 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Regional Conferences

2011 Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference

2010, 2009, and 2008 Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conferences

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