As Green Workforce Academy gears up for its 2022 spring cohort, we take a look at the community of partners who make the green jobs training program impactful for Black and Native adults in the Portland metropolitan area.
With 39 participants across seven cohorts having completed the program, the Green Workforce Academy (GWA) has found its rhythm, thanks in part to broad partnerships with Portland-area employers who act as site hosts and potential future employers.
GWA is a paid, five-week training program run by the Green Workforce Collaborative, a partnership formed by several Portland-based organizations. Designed for Black and Native adults who want to learn about and get green industry jobs, the Academy offers culturally responsive classroom sessions. Classroom topics cover a variety of green industry fields, such as habitat restoration, food and agriculture, waste management, and renewable energies. Importantly, the classroom sessions are also paired with an interactive learning experience–such as a training session in the field or an onsite tour–with real, green industry employers in Portland.
“To witness the students make the connections with what they’ve studied in class to real world applications in real time, with real people—particularly those who look like or identify like them—is where the real magic happens,” says Jason Stroman, the program director at The Blueprint Foundation and GWA site supervisor. “It is in these moments that students are genuinely inspired and begin to embrace a whole new realm of what’s possible for their future.”