Report from YWCA New Choices Director Missy Summers:
On Thursday, April 14 the Green Stakeholder’s Group hosted Assistant Secretary for the NC Department of Commerce Henry McCoy. The stakeholders had an opportunity to share with him the work we have accomplished to date and he gave us an update on what is happening around the state economically and what is on the horizon.
The Green Stakeholders Group was brought together by the YWCA as part of an effort to advocate for women and people of color to ensure that they are represented in the movement in our community to build green industry. In particular to ensure that women and people of color have access to training opportunities and potential high wage job opportunities that are developing from the growing green industry.
The group has been meeting monthly since Fall 2010 and the participants include business leaders, workforce development leaders, and respresenetnatives from other groups who are invested in creating an inclusive green economy in Asheville.
The primary achievement of this group so far is the creation of a statistical report on the current status of inclusiveness in the green industry. A secondary achievement is raising awareness in the community, in businesses and within organizations who serve women and people of color that these opportunities exist and why it is critical to make a conscience effort to be inclusive when recruiting trainees and staff. As part of this, I have conducted several one on one meetings with local green employers, women serving organizations and workforce development groups to assess their understanding of the inclusive issue and hopefully helping them to understand the issue better.