Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 3
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Going green, making green: fair brings living wage, environmentally friendly jobs

As the whole country raises money and sponsors events to “go green,” there may not be an event bigger and more effective than the Green Jobs Fair, occurring nationwide on Saturday, Sept. 27.

Called “the national day of action to build the new economy,” 397 venues in 47 states will throw block parties, house parties, teach-ins, living room discussions and public programs with food, music and poetry.

Organized largely by Green for All, a national organization dedicated to building a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty, the Green Jobs Fair hopes to raise awareness about the need for green jobs and advocate for local, state and federal commitments to job opportunities in the emerging green economy.

On campus, the Campus Greens and the First-Generation and Working Class Students at Whitman College have collaborated to help out at the Green Jobs Fair.

“We are all putting an effort in to make this a great event for the campus and the community,” said junior Amelia Singer, co-President of FGWC. “It is a unique and interesting joint venture because we are bringing together groups with very different goals in mind.”

Usually environmental concerns are not an essential part of FGWC’s mission, but since the green jobs movement is about training low-income people from urban areas in specialized, environmental work, they were more than happy to join forces with the fair.

At the fair and on campus, the clubs hope to show films and urge people to sign the Green Jobs Now “I’m Ready” Petition, which asks Congress to fund the Green Jobs Act. This act, passed last year by the House of Representatives, would train workers for jobs in the renewable energy industries.

“This is something people don’t know a whole lot about, even groups that could benefit from it,” sophomore Elli Matkin said. “[The fair] is an opportunity for them to be educated and to say that they want it to happen.”

Since green jobs aim to build a strong middle class and promote environmental sustainability, supporters of this cause strongly believe this may be the key out of the recession and the energy crisis.

Green-collar workers would install solar panels, retrofit buildings to make them more efficient, construct transit lines, refine waste oil into biodiesel, erect wind farms, repair hybrid cars, build green rooftops, plant trees and much more.

“This is the future,” Singer said, “And I hope we can get people involved and excited about green jobs.”

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