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*On This Earth Day, we celebrate Green For All. Founded in September 2007, Green For All is an environmental justice organization aiming to build a green economy while lifting citizens out of poverty.
It is a DC-based group that brings unions and environmentalists together to push for anti-poverty measures and a clean-energy economy. Green For All was co-founded by Van Jones, former head of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and Majora Carter, former head of Sustainable South Bronx, and was officially launched at the Clinton Global Initiative. Working with the United Steelworkers (USW), the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Green For All, and the Blue Green Alliance, a partnership of the USW and Sierra Club, have launched the national Green Jobs for America campaign. Jones appeared to announce Green for All's commitment to securing one billion dollars by 2012 to create "green pathways out of poverty" for 250,000 people in the United States.
Jones also added that the Ella Baker Center would continue to run a "Green-Collar Jobs Campaign" regionally and statewide in California. Green For All and other green-energy businesses have been receiving increased press from major publications such as the New York Times, USA Today, Business Week, and The Nation indicating that the growth potential cited by UPI is picking up steam in the public sector as well. A major component of the Green For All movement is job security.
According to a March 26, 2008 press release from United Press International (UPI), the green-collar job sector is growing in the United States and could include more than 14 million workers by 2017. Although it is difficult to pin down what constitutes a green-collar job, the American Solar Energy Society said there are around 8.5 million U.S. jobs that involve Earth-friendly enterprises and renewable energy sources. According to Jerome Ringo of the Apollo Alliance, this figure could grow by 5 million in the next ten years.
Green for All was a major proponent of the Green Jobs Act of 2007. The Green Jobs Act, inserted into the general 2007 Energy Bill (listed as Title X), was passed by both the House and the United States Senate. The Green Jobs Act directs $125 million annually for greening the nation's workforce, including job training for 35,000 people annually. It also authorizes $25 million annually to fund programs like the Oakland Green Jobs Corps.