By Elizabeth Myer
EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson dropped by our New York City offices on Monday, where she spoke to and inspired employees and held a roundtable with local stakeholders. During her visit, the Administrator addressed many of the priorities laid out in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech last week, namely focusing on the intersection of environmental protection, public health, green jobs and a strong economy in 2012 and beyond.
At the Roundtable that followed, Lisa Jackson posed a question to NYC leaders in order solicit their thoughts on job creation through environmental protection. Specifically, the Administrator wanted to know how to amplify the success stories many small businesses have had creating green jobs in the backdrop of large industry cuts. Participants were asked to enlighten others by sharing past work which highlighted the nexus between environmental protection and a strong economy. The overall response was encouraging and inspiring. One stakeholder suggested that green jobs should be expanded to all sectors (instead of just energy) as a means to change the national narrative. Another participant emphasized the importance of professional development for individuals seeking work in the green jobs sector. Furthermore, the roundtable attendees each made suggestions for specific steps to promote job creation in the field of environmental protection. Jackson listened intently throughout the meeting and in her concluding remarks, challenged the roundtable participants to “be the legislation” that drives these issues.
Here is my question to you, our valuable readers and environmental stakeholders: How can we broaden communication between diverse groups on the subject of green job creation?