Aug 25, 2021 |
Climate change puts all of our communities at risk. Companies are working to minimize their carbon footprint and build regenerative business practices. We can expect green jobs to make up a growing share of total employment as our country (and the world) work toward sustainability. Green jobs have the power to drive an equitable economic recovery if paired with strategic investment in workforce training. One organization working to build equity into the green economy is Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI).
Founded as an economic development initiative out of the City of Los Angeles, LACI is now an independent nonprofit organization. They create a holistic pathway for people from diverse backgrounds to participate in the green economy.
“Matt [Petersen, President & CEO]’s leadership and vision helped grow LACI beyond an incubator by adding strategic pillars that enhance and amplify our impact,” explains Estelle Reyes, SVP Enhancing Community. “Our approach builds partnerships and collaborations that support the startup experience.”
LACI’s workforce development program goes beyond job postings and traditional recruiting. They design workforce training programs to meet the needs of the cleantech industry and match trained candidates to paid, experiential internships. “Our workforce program participants are 100% low- to moderate-income, and many are under- or unemployed and formerly incarcerated. We invest in training and developing people who want to participate in the green economy and provide them opportunities to build their skills and gain experience,” says Reyes. These three strategies create environmental, social, and economic benefits for the communities that need them the most.
“When we approached our bank, Beneficial State, about sponsorship for our Women in Cleantech program, I was impressed by how mission-aligned our two organizations are,” continues Reyes. “We developed this program in response to women founders telling us what they need to thrive. The bank not only sponsors our events, but their staff also attends and supports our community of founders.”