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dialogue snippet: What is the future of the green jobs industry?

Watch the full panel discussion to see the whole conversation. In the summer of 2009, MIT CoLab deployed student staff to organizations in North Carolina, Mississippi, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Los Angeles, among others, to collaborate with communities interested in using stimulus money in especially innovative ways. The common stimulus dispute CoLab's community partners face looks like this: the City wants to spend its stimulus money on new boilers for City Hall, with a one-time installation done by an established contractor. Community groups, however envision something more like this: (1) a job skills training program for unemployed youth and former felons, including a leadership development component, which trains folks how to weatherize and retrofit buildings, and also how to start a small business. (2) newly trained workers get paid to to the work in their own neighborhoods. (3) With this experience, they could potentially start their own businesses. (4) Meanwhile, their neighborhoods would use energy savings from their now weatherized homes to engage in a collective mortgage reduction program, or as savings towards a community center building.

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