Today was a very good day! I found out that I’ve got funding for the East London Green Jobs Alliance for the next 6 months! WOOOOOO.
So, my job over the next 6 months will be to meet with employers, unions, local councils, community colleges, community representatives, and young, unemployed people to put everything in place to create a green jobs “pipeline”. What we’re trying to do is to create a pathway into green employment for young, unemployed people in East London in either solar installation or energy efficiency. I met with a few organisations in San Francisco who were way down that road and had had inspiring results. One of those was Richmond Build. I was listening to a recording of our meeting with them the other day and I transcribed this quote from one of the programme participants, Kevin.
Kevin is 45, an ex-offender, and had just got his FIRST EVER job as a result of completing the programme.
“I give myself credit for one thing, but I mean I give the Build credit for really showing me smart things, they might not be big things but you put them all together and as you know it’s a real good program that gets you in stride to be able to start working consistently and feeling positive because I mean you don’t really have time for no negative. You get home, you’re tired, eat, go to sleep, wake up, it’s time to go back and you know, learn something else, do something else. It’s just repetitive like that and pretty soon you just love it. I’m like into it right now you know, so I’m on my first job ever, I’m happy, I’m a little nervous but I feel like if I need some advice I can always come back, it’s a family, so I call them and say ‘I’ve got a problem here, a problem there’. I know they’ll always be there for me. It’s a good thing, a good thing”.
If I can make something like this happen for people in East London, I will be very, very happy.