In Newark, New Jersey, as part of the New Energy for America plan, a weatherization program is creating jobs and helping low-income residents save money on their energy bills.
“I know I’ve been hearing a lot of talk on TV about green jobs, but in Newark, we’re not just talk, we’re actually doing it,“ says Newark resident Perette Hopkins, a green-collar job trainee of Laborers Local 55 and the Garden State Alliance for a New Economy.
The first workers under the program were trained in weatherization techniques—from reducing drafts via insulation to caulking windows and doors to making the hot water heater more effective—and then applied their knowledge to update 30 homes of senior and low-income homeowners.
“The challenges that we have right now are challenges to our moral imagination,” says Newark Mayor Cory Booker. “Can we see a way out of no way? Can we turn obstacles into opportunities? Barriers into blessings? Pitfalls into pools of potential?”
If green jobs initiatives like the one in Newark are any indication, then the answer is yes, we can meet these challenges and build a better future.