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Workforce Innovation Submitted By:
Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County

Green Skills Employer Panel

Innovation photo or program logo

Community Challenge/Problem

Nationwide, there has been an increasing focus on green jobs and skills. To best help jobseekers interested in these emerging career paths, the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County needed to identify these occupations and related skills -- especially those that would be in demand and paying self-sufficient wages -- in order to make good investments in job training. But without the involvement of employers in the construction industry, this effort would be ineffective.

Board Solution/Innovation

When the WDC asked Executive Vice President David Allen of McKinstry to lead its Green Design and Green Building Skills Panel in 2008, he and the company willingly took on the role of industry champion. A Seattle-based construction, energy and facility services firm, McKinstry has earned a national reputation in the energy-efficiency sector. The WDC and McKinstry used the company's industry connections to recruit area businesses for the Green Design and Green Building Skills Panel. Made up of 25 leaders from business, labor, education, economic development, government, and workforce development, this pro-active group identified green-training needs in our region and determined the best ways to connect people to good jobs in these trades.

Outcomes & Results

McKinstry’s leadership of the Green Design and Green Building panel evolved into the creation of the Green Workforce Council and led to positive impacts in five areas:
Research Reports - reports on the green labor market, including an extensive employer survey;
Training Curricula - course curricula for Sustainability for the Building and Construction Trades, a video course now in use nationwide, and two other courses to be taught in community/technical colleges
Jobseeker Information - including a video and development of a green-jobs website at
Business information - "Greening Your Business" publication
Green-Skills Training - Via the panels' extensive research and industry connections, the WDC successfully competed for grants to train more than 900 people for green careers.

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