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The Next Generation in Green Jobs and Energy Efficiency

Sea Change Radio explores on-the-ground work in green collar jobs and energy efficiency retrofits. Francesca Rheannon speaks with Patricia Moss, Project Manager of Groundwork Springfield, and the Green Team of teens and young adults working in green jobs. And Bill Baue speaks with Adin Maynard, Director of Operations at Cozy Home Performance, about the company’s participation in the Weatherization Assistance Program for low-income homeowners and its move into deep energy retrofits for mid- and upper-income homeowners.

Following up on last week’s interview with Bob Pollin of the Political Economy Research Institute on two new reports on green jobs and the clean energy economy, this week we explore what’s happening with on-the-ground work. Sea Change Radio Co-Host Francesca Rheannon visited the Spanish American Union in Springfield, Massachusetts, home of Groundwork Springfield. There, she met with Project Manager Patricia Moss and Green Team members.

Moss starts by sharing her definition of sustainability, especially in the context of urban environmentalism. She then goes on to relate the genesis of Groundwork Springfield as a pilot program of the broader Groundwork USA network. Moss laments how federal stimulus funding is not making its way to Groundwork Springfield. Green Team member Cristina describes the “What’s Buggin You?” project, supported by a $20,000 EPA environmental justice grant, that educates on the dangers of over-the-counter pesticides, and she shares what she has learned about leadership. Green Team leader Jalil Harrell discusses the challenges for young men getting jobs.

In the second half of the show, Adin Maynard of Cozy Home Performance discusses the company’s participation in the Weatherization Assistance Program, which has received a boost in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA.) He also points out that the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) supports renewable energy about twice as much as energy efficiency, despite the fact that energy efficiency uses “shovel-ready” technology and provides a significantly higher return on investment. Finally, Maynard describes deep energy retrofits, which Cozy Home is set to pilot in partnership with Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECO.)

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