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The California Green Collar Jobs Act

As the green economy grows, it will be accompanied by an increased demand for a highly skilled and well-trained ‘green collar’ workforce

By Chris Micheli, July 2, 2022 3:36 pm

California has a number of formal acts in statute. The Unemployment Insurance Code provides the California Green Collar Jobs Act of 2008, which is contained in Sections 15000 to 15003. Division 8 was added in 2008 by Chapter 312. Section 15000 names the Act.

Section 15001 contains six legislative findings and declarations, including that the State of California has long been a national and international leader on environmental, natural resource, pollution prevention, and energy issues, as well as recent landmark laws in the areas of climate change, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and alternative transportation fuels.

In addition, as the green economy grows, it will be accompanied by an increased demand for a highly skilled and well-trained “green collar” workforce. The California Workforce Investment Board is required to adopt a sector strategy approach in responding to industry sector workforce and economic development needs. This strategy must ensure industry has a qualified workforce and can offer opportunities for employment, training, and career advancement for all Californians.

Section 15002 requires the California Workforce Investment Board (CWIB) to establish a special committee known as the Green Collar Jobs Council (GCJC), comprised of appropriate representatives from the CWIB’s existing membership, including the K–12 representative, the California Community Colleges representative, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development representative, the Employment Development Department representative, and other appropriate members.

As part of the strategic initiative, the GCJC must focus on developing the framework, funding, strategies, programs, policies, partnerships, and opportunities necessary to address the growing need for a highly skilled and well-trained workforce to meet the needs of California’s emerging green economy. The GCJC is required to conduct specified activities.

The CWIB may accept any revenues, moneys, grants, goods, or services from federal and state entities, philanthropic organizations, and other sources, to be used for purposes relating to the administration and implementation of the strategic initiative. In addition, t CWIB is required to ensure the highest level of transparency and accountability and make information available on the CWIB Internet Web site.

Section 15003 requires annually the CWIB to report to the Legislature on the status of GCJC activities, grants awarded, and its development and implementation of a green workforce strategic initiative.

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