Research Report Equitable Access to Quality Climate Infrastructure Jobs: A Framework for Collaborative Action
Shayne Spaulding, Joseph Schilling, Madeleine Sirois, Amanda Briggs, Jincy Wilson
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Recent federal laws, including the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), focus on updating and improving the nation’s infrastructure while taking steps to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. Included in these federal infrastructure investments are goals around creating quality jobs and ensuring that benefits accrue to populations that have been historically marginalized. Largely missing from enacted legislation were specific funding and requirements for developing the workforce for emerging climate infrastructure jobs.

This report provides a framework for understanding what is needed at the local and regional level to advance effective implementation of workforce development in conjunction with current and future climate and infrastructure investments. Efforts are in early stages, but there are many promising practices from which to learn. To build an understanding of these practices, we interviewed individuals from national and regional nonprofit organizations, local governments, industry associations, and intermediaries. Informed by our interviews, feedback sessions, and research, our framework identifies three essential principles, a set of core actors, and five key strategies that workforce and sustainability organizations can use to advance equitable green career pathways. The report provides recommendations for federal, state, and local governments, philanthropies, employers, and unions to build collaborative capacity supporting the equitable implementation of climate infrastructure investments.

Research Areas Climate change, disasters, and community resilience Workforce Race and equity Economic mobility and inequality
Tags Workforce development Climate adaptation and resilience Infrastructure Employment Community and economic development Apprenticeships Equitable development Environmental justice Job markets and labor force Job opportunities Job quality and workplace standards Job training Mobility Climate impacts and community resilience Climate mitigation, sustainability, energy and land use Racial and ethnic disparities Postsecondary education and training Building America’s Workforce
Policy Centers Income and Benefits Policy Center Research to Action Lab
Research Methods Qualitative data analysis
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