Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The first meeting: Green jobs as a pathway to a strong middle class

As Vice President Joe Biden often says, let's roll up our sleeves.

Vice President Biden and the rest of the Middle Class Task Force get down to (official) business for the first time Friday, Feb. 27, at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

On the agenda: jobs. Green jobs. Lots of 'em.

Half the cabinet will be there, along with top domestic policy aide Melody Barnes, top environmental policy aide Carol Browner, and Pennsylvania's Gov. Rendell, Sens. Specter and Casey, and Reps. Chaka Fattah and Robert Brady.

But what are green jobs? Where are they? And how do you get one?

Beyond the political heavy-hitters, a lot of clean energy leaders -- including prominent voices from the worlds of policy, non-profits, local government, labor, and business -- will be on hand to try to answer those questions, and these:

--How can we change Washington to make green jobs a political reality? (John Podesta, President and CEO, Center for American Progress)
--How can we ensure access to green jobs to everyone? (Van Jones, founding President, Green for All)
--How do we connect people who need jobs to companies that need people? (Fred Krupp, President, the Environmental Defense Fund)
--How can the federal government help bring green jobs to the middle class? (Carol Browner, Assistant to President Obama for Energy and Climate Change)
--What's the role of the labor movement in creating green jobs and training workers for them? (Leo Gerard, International President of the Steelworkers of America
--How do you create green jobs in a city? (Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia)
--How can public-private partnerships help train people for green jobs? (Cecilia Estolano, CEO of the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Authority)
--What's the role for business? (Mark Edlen, President, Gerding-Edlen)

We'll have much more from the MCTF's first meeting later in the week.

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