The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) creates an unprecedented investment to retrofit our aging residential infrastructure. For many communities, these underfunded “weatherization assistance programs” have existed for more than 30 years, creating low wage jobs with no benefits and no career path or ladder to higher wage occupations in construction.
Now is the time to set a new vision for what the jobs in this industry can look like. A core principle of ARRA called for maximizing opportunities for communities who have traditionally been left behind and providing pathways to middle class careers for American workers. If we recruit women, people of color and veterans into these current weatherization jobs we will have yet another low wage industry in Colorado where these constituencies are over represented. If we ensure that these weatherization jobs will be good paying jobs without promoting and creating pathways for communities that have been left behind, we will have another good paying job that is not representative of our economy. So we must do both simultaneously.
FRESC is partnering with the Sierra Club, Laborers Union, Change to Win and many more Colorado allies to create and organize to win a new vision for our green retrofit jobs in Colorado.
Workers and environmentalists unite to support Good Green Jobs for Colorado during Xcel Energy's conversion of coal-fired plants to cleaner natural gas, and call for a Community Workforce Agreement to assure jobs are ones for Colorado workers with training, good benefits and safe work.