Newsletter – February 2013

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February 2013

Welcome to our February newsletter! This month, we have news, training and job opportunities, an amazing case study from Texas, and a chance to take action.

But before you start reading, consider whether you would you like to join our network? If your organisation would like to publicly show their support for an inclusive green economy, do send us your logo to put on the East London Green Jobs Alliance website, and we will get in touch about further learning and networking opportunities.

Now grab that hot water bottle, pull up a pew, and read on.

Hot off the press

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Good news for the wind industry this month!

Spain just saw its wind farms produce more electricity than any other source for a 3-month time period, for the first time ever…

…while back in Blighty, UK wind turbines generated more than 5GW for the first time to set a new record, according to National Grid. The figure represents about 12% of the nation’s electricity needs.

Perhaps the same goes for the outdoors industry? President Obama has made an unconventional first pick for US interior secretary by nominating Sally Jewell, the head of the REI outdoor equipment stores. Obama said Jewell’s business background made her a good fit for the interior job. “She is an expert on energy and climate issues that are going to shape our future. She knows the link between conservation and good jobs. She knows there is no contradiction between being good stewards of the land and economic progress.”

Heat our homes, not the planet!

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Exciting things are happening in Parliament right now (it’s true!). Conservative MP Tim Yeo and Labour’s Barry Gardiner last night tabled an amendment to the Energy Bill that would require the government to introduce a decarbonisation target for the power sector by April next year.

There are many ways that you can take action to support this call for a clean power future. Here are a couple:

  • Sign the Energy Bill Revolution petition here.
  • Come to Hackney on 27th February to debate fuel poverty, green jobs, and the Energy Bill with us, alongside Meg Hiller MP and Martyn Williams from Energy Bill Revolution.

Case study – Dahlia Green Cleaning Services

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For a bit of inspiration, read about these women from Texas, USA, who are creating their own green jobs:

Dahlia Green Cleaning Services was founded in June 2012 by five women with shared economic needs. Motivated by the desire to create more just and dignified jobs in the cleaning industry, Brenda Jimenez, Eva Marroquin, Cyndi Jimenez, Maria Munoz and Lorena Hernandez came together to improve the standard of living for themselves, their families, and their community. The mission of Dahlia is to create jobs with fair wages and equal opportunity, for the benefit of their members and their families. They are committed to providing a quality service that puts people and planet first.

They are the first worker-owned cooperative in Austin, TX that specializes in green cleaning. Their work is done with hand-made eco-friendly products that promote a healthy living environment for their customers, their members, and the planet.

In an interview with one member, Maria, she says that unlike her previous work experience, she now has a voice over decisions that affect her and her workplace. She is now earning a living wage and has more control over her schedule. Dahlia has also provided Maria with a range of opportunities for personal and professional growth. In addition to housecleaning, she also serves as the Treasurer on Dahlia’s Board of Directors and is responsible for bookkeeping and payroll. As the co-op grows, Maria looks forward to providing similar opportunities to future members. On what she likes best about cooperatives, Maria says, “Everyone wins together. There isn’t just one person who creates wealth for themselves. All the benefits and profits are divided equally for everyone.”

Opportunities

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Bright Sparks

There is now a fully funded accredited training programme available to eligible candidates at the Bright Sparks electrical and reuse and repair shop in Islington. This is a fantastic opportunity to get into accredited training and work experience in a busy social enterprise with the aim of giving you the skills and experience needed to succeed in employment. Accreditations available are:
Customer Service NVQ Level 2
Retail Skills NVQ Level 2
Warehousing and Storage NVQ Level 2
Business Administration NVQ Level 2
To be eligible for this opportunity, you must be aged 16 or over, be a UK subject or EU citizen (those who are not must have been resident in the UK/EU for more than 3 years), must not be doing another funded qualification, and must be unemployed and on active benefit (a JCP letter will be required as evidence). If you meet these eligibility criteria, and would like to apply, please e-mail manuela@lcrn.org.uk.

Shoreditch Trust

Cooking in the Community and Gardening in the Community are dynamic training courses that combine classroom and field work modules to give people the skills and experience to support and eventually run growing and cooking activities in their local community. Thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Local Food programme, they are able to provide courses for free or at low cost. Generally, the courses will be free to:

Hackney residents
Members of Capital Growth or the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens
Volunteers for voluntary or community organisations

If you would like to discuss your own circumstances to find out if you are eligible, contact Edouard on 020 7033 8506 or at edouard@shoreditchtrust.org.uk.

Project Dirt

For paid opportunities, Project Dirt have just launched a Green Jobs forum on their site for useful job searching.

That is all from us this month – do email us your opportunities and stories for next month’s newsletter. Send to hanna@greenjobsalliance.org.uk.

See you in March,

Hanna

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