Monday, September 28, 2009

It's time for OFCCP to modernize to reflect female breadwinners

It’s time for OFCCP to reflect the 21st century (Rep. Rosa DeLauro)
By Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) - 09/24/09 12:00 PM ET

Earlier this week, I, Congressman Pete Stark, and 24 of our colleagues signed a letter urging Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis to modernize the affirmative action goals set by the Office of Federal Contracts and Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in 1980 to reflect the current realities of female participation in the construction industry.


This issue is a no-brainer – OFCCP standards, which were designed to end the long-standing exclusion of women in construction, should reflect the world as it is today, not as it was decades ago.


For example, the OFCCP minimum standard for total number of work hours performed by women on a given federal contract progressed from 3.1% to 5% to 6.9% over a period of three years when the program was first established. But after this very positive start, this 6.9% participation rate – based on data from the 1970 census – has not been further expanded in over 30 years.


This is 30 years too late, and the time to act is now. As From the Ground Up: Building Opportunities for Women in Construction, a July 2008 report by Legal Momentum, concluded, the “convergence of economic and demographic trends” in the construction industry – many new projects, a retiring male workforce, growing numbers of women in the field – “means that conditions are optimal for increasing women’s participation in the construction workforce.”


Moreover, as Wider Opportunities for Women has pointed out, higher workforce goals usually results in higher participation for women. When the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. established a goal of 15 percent women for the deconstruction of the Deutsche Bank building, the result was 20 percent women on site, including one superintendent.


In short, these OFCCP standards are based on forty-year-old data that in no way reflect the considerable progress we have seen in the construction industry over the past four decades. A more appropriate participation goal, based on current workforce and demographic data, is both legally defensible and critical to assist women in making more gains in non-traditional fields.


In these hard economic times, women are carrying a huge burden in supporting their families and acting as primary breadwinners, particularly given that they make 78 cents on the dollar as compared to men. Yet, women with less than a college degree can earn 20 to 30 percent more in construction jobs than those in occupations normally open to them. It is past time we helped women establish a firmer foothold in the construction industry, one that reflects their numbers in the labor force.


We should not live in the past. These OFCCP standards should reflect the America of 2010, not the America of 1970.


http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/civil-rights/60143-its-time-for-ofccp-to-reflect-the-21st-century-rep-rosa-delauro

Thursday, September 10, 2009

School of Green Recovery is in session: Chicago, September 2009

LEED Workshops
September 29, 2009LEED Core Concepts & Strategies Workshop – Normal, IL
October 13, 2009Green Building Design & Construction: The LEED Implementation Process – Chicago, IL
Online AnytimeGreen Building Basics & LEED Workshop – Online
LEED Core Concepts & Strategies – Online
Intro to LEED for Homes – Online $25
Intro to LEED for Schools – Online FREE

U.S Green Building Council -Chicago Chapter
Upcoming LEED Workshops
Upcoming Events
http://www.usgbc-chicago.org/


Chapter Orientation
Thursday, September 10, 20095:00 PM – 5:30 PMGensler, 11 E. Madison, Chicago

Chapter Business Meeting
Thursday, September 10, 20095:30 – 8:00 PMGensler, 11 E. Madison, Chicago, Illinois 60602

Going Green to LEED – 1st Rockford Branch Event
Tuesday, September 15, 20095:30 PM – 8:00 PMRadisson Hotel & Conference Center, Rockford

GBCI: Credentials & Maintenance – Fox Valley Branch Event
Thursday, September 17, 20096:00 PM – 8:00 PMInteriors for Business, Batavia

Green Building: The Nuts & Bolts for Contractors
Friday, September 18, 20097:30 AM – 4:30 PMNorthwestern University, 339 E. Chicago Ave, Chicago

The Greening of Health Care, Part II
Thursday, September 24, 20098:30 AM – 2:00 PMInteriors for Business, 409 N. River St., Batavia

Emerging Green Builders Networking Event
Thursday, September 24, 20095:30 PM – 8:00 PMUncommon Ground, 1401 W. Devon, Chicago

Panduit Hard Hat Tour – South Suburban Branch Event
Friday, September 25, 20093:00 PM – 5:00 PMPanduit, 80th & I-80, Tinley Park

Green Design for School Facilities: Hubble Middle School Case Study
Monday, September 28, 20096:00 PM – 8:00 PMHubble Middle School, Warrenville

LEED Leaders & Liters: Sustainable Sites Initiative
Tuesday, September 29, 20095:30 PM – 7:30 PMNorcon, 661 W. Ohio, Chicago



Weatherization Training & Curriculum


The Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Initiative’s Workforce Development Task Force, under the direction of Dr. Victoria Cooper, Wilbur Wright College, Environmental Technology Program with the support of Dean Robert Kelly of the Dawson Technical Institute of Kennedy-King College, are developing a Chicagoland Standardized Weatherization Training Curriculum.

Over the past two months, workforce development non-profits, educational institutions and community-based organizations have meet with Steering Committee members to discuss the skills and knowledge necessary to supply a skilled green collar workforce.

Their results have been collated and developed into the FINAL DRAFT Weatherization Curriculum which is still open for commentary and feedback. There are several ways to add your substantive comments to aid green collar development in Chicago. First, comment below; second, e-mail us or comment via Twitter. In September, a special Task Force will reconvene (with LEED Council) to discuss expanding the current 4-week pilot to 8-weeks.

What’s next With federal funding from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the Chicago Department of Family & Support Service (DCFSS) awarded LEED Council a contract to conduct 3 classes; the first starting on September 28th. This first class will be an 8-week version of the 4-week Weatherization Pilot which happened in June 2009. Pilot curriculum is 8 weeks of technical, job readiness and financial education training. LEED Council anticipates around 45 graduates by June 2010, with most to be hired by general contractors for residential retrofitting.

We welcome comments and questions about Weatherization Curriculum and the Workforce Development Task Force, please contact us via e-mail, Twitter or Facebook

http://greencollarchicago.org/?page_id=12




Important Information in Weatherization Funding at the State and National Levels

New grant money is available for weatherization funding on both the national and state levels.

The weatherization of homes for low-income families can result in savings of 32 percent on heating bills and hundreds of dollars a year on overall energy bills, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).

National: Illinois was allocated $242,526,619 in Weatherization Assistance Program funding, 50 percent of which has already been received. After receiving the initial 10 percent for training and ramp-up activities, Illinois received $97,010,647 more on June 26, 2009 following a DOE review of our state’s comprehensive application. The final 50 percent of funds will be awarded once the state meets reporting requirements and oversight and accountability milestones, as required by the Recovery Act. This funding expands the state’s Home Weatherization Assistance Program, which is administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). The funding is planned to weatherize nearly 27,000 homes, and DCEO will award money to 35 existing local agencies. Criteria used to determine which homes will be weatherized include the home owner’s poverty level, whether they are elderly or disable disabled, and the home’s fuel cost.

Important Federal updates:
There has been a change in reporting requirements. Only 40 percent of awarded money must be spent in the first year, beginning July 1, 2009 (compared to the 60 percent originally stated). In the second year, 60 percent of funding must be spent. OMB reporting requirements for the quarter ending September 30, 2009 are due on October 10.

In May the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and DOE partnered to coordinate the use of ARRA funding to eliminate barriers preventing the use of weatherization funds in public and assisted multifamily housing. The partnership will streamline the weatherization eligibility process for residents in public housing and privately owned federally-assisted units, as well as 950,000 Low Income Housing Tax Credit-financed units. A family’s income must be below 200 percent of the federal poverty level for a unit to qualify for weatherization assistance.

FAQs about Weatherization funding are online.

State: The Illinois General Assembly passed the Urban Weatherization Initiative Act, effective July 13, 2009, which seeks to increase both employment and entrepreneurship opportunities with the manufacturing and installation of low-cost weatherization materials. DCEO will administer the initiative’s $425 million, with a focus on weatherizing “owner-occupied, single family homes and multifamily (6 units or fewer) housing in census tracts with high rates of unemployment, underemployment, and poverty to ensure that residents of those communities are able to access the work as a local employment engine.” Outreach strategies will also raise awareness on the cost savings and job training opportunities associated with the program. Grants will be awarded via a competitive request-for-proposal process. All applicants must include a plan for local community engagement, including outreach at local intake centers like churches, schools, and community centers. Eligible applicants include private, public and non-profit entities. Grants will be up to $500,000 per fiscal year.

Posted: 8/24/2009 3:11:33 PM- Economic and Workforce Development - Energy and Brownfield

http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/blog_template.aspx?id=16799&blogid=872




For Immediate ReleaseContact: Susan MasselPhone: (312) 744-0757E-mail: susan.massel@cityofchicago.orgMonday, August 10, 2009

RFP issued for "green" deconstruction program

The Chicago Department of Community Development (DCD) today issued a Request for Proposals for a Deconstruction Work Services and Training Program.

The program is a year–round job training and work experience program targeted at formerly incarcerated individuals. Participants will be trained in deconstruction techniques, all relevant Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and practices, and the operations of tools such as reciprocating saws, pallet jacks, chisels, crow bars, and hammers.
The work experience component of the program involves salvaging surface items from buildings scheduled for demolition, processing building materials for recycling and re-use, deconstructing garages, and participating in the sale of re-usable merchandise. The project period is October 1, 2009 to March 31, 2012.

The program will be administered by the City of Chicago through the Department of Community Development (DCD) and in cooperation with the Department of Buildings and the Department of Streets and Sanitation.

“This RFP addresses two of the City of Chicago’s priorities: providing job training and work experience for residents with criminal backgrounds, and deconstructing buildings and reusing the materials because of the substantial environmental benefits that the practice brings,” said David Hanson, Executive Director of Business Development Services in the City’s Department of Community Development. “This project will connect these two priorities by putting 140 formerly incarcerated individuals in a work training program salvaging items from buildings scheduled for demolition, processing building materials for re-use, deconstructing garages and participating in the re-selling of building materials. We anticipate that the project will last for two and a half years, with four cohorts of 35 participants lasting one year each, starting every six months.”

Respondents with the ability to design a comprehensive job training program that features work experience and exposure to the deconstruction field can find the RFP at www.cityofchicago.org/recovery beginning Monday, Aug. 10, 2009. Submissions are due by at 4 pm, Thursday, Sept. 10.


http://egov.cityofchicago.org/city/webportal/portalContentItemAction.do?blockName=Planning+And+Development%2fRequests+for+Proposals%2fI+Want+To&deptMainCategoryOID=-536886353&channelId=0&programId=0&entityName=Planning+And+Development&topChannelName=Dept&contentOID=537055335&Failed_Reason=Invalid+timestamp,+engine+has+been+restarted&contenTypeName=COC_EDITORIAL&com.broadvision.session.new=Yes&Failed_Page=%2fwebportal%2fportalContentItemAction.do&context=dept



Green Building Resources and Energy Efficiency


NEW GREEN GUIDELINES FOR STATE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
New energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly guidelines for state construction projects have been adopted that will meet strict national “green” building standards, reduce the state’s energy usage, and make state buildings better for those who work in them and the area surrounding them.

Buildings consume 65 percent of our nation’s total electricity, emit 30 percent of our total greenhouse gases, and account for nearly 60 percent of total non-industrial waste in the United States.

The Green Building Guidelines for State Construction, developed by the Illinois Green Building Advisory Committee, mandate that all new state-funded building construction and major renovations of existing state-owned facilities are required to meet current Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards that are practical for that project. The Capital Development Board (CDB), which manages all state construction, repair and renovation projects, developed the new guidelines and will oversee their implementation.


Exciting new technologies combined with traditional solutions may be seen in future state building projects under the new guidelines. These could include geo-thermal climate control systems, roofs made of heat-reducing white material or covered with live vegetation (“white” and “green” roofs), photovoltaic systems to produce electricity, the use of recycled materials, nowater landscaping, and allergen-reducing ventilation and interior finishes.


Under the Green Building Guidelines, the following Illinois specific goals will apply to every project: There will be no development on prime farmland; water use will be reduced by at least 20 percent through the use of high-efficiency fixtures; and energy performance will be improved by set percentages on new and existing buildings. Other guidelines will also apply to specific projects. In addition to the guidelines, a Measurement & Verification Tool was created to help collect building and site characteristics data and building cost and performance metrics. These are important indicators in tracking and determining the building performance information.


Several state-funded building projects already underway or planned incorporate the new Green Building Guidelines. These include the recently-completed Workforce Development Center at Heartland Community College in Normal; the Integrated Bio-Processing Research Laboratory and Lincoln Hall at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; the Transportation Education Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale; the Performing Arts Center on the Macomb campus and the Quad Cities Riverfront Campus of Western Illinois University; the Truman College Student Services Center in Chicago;


Links to other valuable info relating to green construction are available via theResources Page and the Illinois Administrative Codes page.

http://www.cdb.state.il.us/green_initiatives.shtml



Are you looking for a green job?

We’re committed to connecting green jobs seekers with potential opportunities around Chicago. This ‘go-to’ page is being developed to provide job seekers a list of external resources that can provide job listings but as the Initiative grows and develops so will this page. We also welcome resources around green jobs, and are open to adding valuable resources for your green job search. Please include these in the comment section below, and we will post relevant additions.
If your organization is hiring green collar professionals, we are in an ideal position to connect your organization with well-trained applicants. Please contact us via e-mail or Twitter.

Resources for Job Seekers
The Chicago Sustainable Business Alliance, hosts regular Sustainability Careers Workshops (some which we post to our calendar) to assist job seekers enter the sustainability sector in Chicago.

Idealist posts jobs listings in the non-profit sector — from volunteer and intern positions to full-time jobs.

NPO.net is a good resource for all thinks non-profit in the Chicagoland region. From training to jobs, they’ve got the info.

The Chicagoland Environmental Network showcases both green-collar jobs and green jobs throughout Chicagoland.

GreenCareersCenter.com has a job board and issues the Green Careers Journal.

Green Dream Jobs is also a great resource for entry level to professional.

Acre Resources Limited is a recruitment firm specializing in green jobs, with their focus being on Environmental Jobs, CSR & Sustainability and Climate Change. They have offices in Chicago and London and could help you with your search.

If you’re looking for more diversity, or assistance with the process, try Illinois Worknet or Illinois Skills Match.

CleanTechRecruits is an internet job site for employers and job candidates in the clean-tech industry, which connects employers with experienced candidates, entry-level college graduates, and interns who are interested in clean-tech jobs and renewable energy jobs.

Renewable Energy Jobs is a global green jobs and career portal for the renewable energy industry. Find the latest renewable energy jobs across the wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, bioenergy, wave, and tidal fields, as well as other emerging sources of renewable energy.

http://greencollarchicago.org/?page_id=18




Construction and Demolition
Recycling Training and Accreditation


This day-long training provides the skills to develop, manage, monitor, document and promote a
successful recycling program for construction and demolition debris. Participants receive three year
Accreditation in Construction Waste Recycling and training to obtain LEED construction waste
management points.

09/17/2009 Milwaukee, WI SE2 Conference

09/24/2009 Madison, WI City of Madison


Reserve Your Spot Today
Register on line at www.wastecap.org/training or call 414‐961‐1100
http://www.bmra.org/2009%20Fall%20Training%20Flyer.pdf
http://sistersinthebrotherhood.org

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