UCAP Lights the Way Toward Green Jobs

The Green Industry Certification Program

As the designated community action agency for Prince Georges County (MD), United Communities Against Poverty, Inc. (UCAP) launched a Green Industry Certification Program (GICP) as a mission-driven strategy to maximize economic opportunities for those in poverty.  GICP, also known as the Green Builders Program, was made possible through partnerships with Prince George’s Community College, the Joint Carpentry Apprenticeship Council, and the U.S. Green Builders Council.


The program was dedicated to the development of “Green Jobs” that focused on the economy and the environment.  Activities featured six-weeks of job readiness training, classroom instruction, and on-the-job experience.  Students received a paid stipend, public transportation assistance and food donations to support them while they participated in the program.


GICP curriculum included:


  • 40 hours weatherization curriculum – Prince George’s Community College
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEEDs) Levels I and II – U. S. Green Builders Council
  • Flaggers Certification – Maryland State Highway Administration and American Traffic Safety Service Association
  • 10-hours Occupational Safety and Health Training – Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • CPR and First Aid – National Safety Council
  • Microsoft Office for the Workplace – Prince George’s Community College


A total of 115 participants completed the program and 42 became employed.  The skills developed and certifications received through GICP are assets that will support graduates in their future career development.


Community Action Believes in Green

In addition to expansive involvement with the Weatherization Assistance Program,[1] Community Action Agencies have been involved with Green Job Training in a variety of ways.  For example, the Community Action Partnership has produced several videos on The Green Economy, as well as case studies on the efforts of WSOS Community Action Commission, Inc. in Ohio and the Community Action Organization of Erie County in New York:


  • Fundamentals of the Green Economy[2]
  • Success Stories in Green Job Training[3]
  • WSOS: Diversifying Green Industry Initiatives to Create Broad Job Opportunities[4]
  • CAOEC: Eliminating Food Deserts and Sustaining Program Funds[5]


While the Resource Bank of the CSBG Training/Technical Assistance Resource Center features several reports focus on green training including:


  • A Green Career Pathways Framework: Postsecondary and Employment Success for Low-Income, Disconnected Youth[6]
  • Civic Justice Corps: Transforming Re-Entry Through Service[7]


More Resources to Help Develop Green Job Training

The timeliness of UCAP’s efforts with Green Industry Certification training is readily seen through reports and resources that can be used to further support this type of program development:


  • The Pink to Green Toolkit: Adding a Gender Lens to Green Jobs Training Programs[8]
  • Pathways Out of Poverty[9]
  • Green-Collar Jobs in America’s Cities: Building Pathways Out of Poverty and Careers in the Clean Energy Economy[10]
  • U.S. Department of Labor’s Green Career Program[11]


UCAP is on the page with the Department of Labor, which offers “Seven Reasons for a Green Job” in Why Green is Your Color: A Woman’s Guide to a Sustainable Career[12] including:


A green job can provide the chance to earn more…you can start with any skill level and move along a career path…green jobs can give you greater satisfaction…green employers are looking to hire…and there are multiple ways to get started in a green job.


Energy is a precious commodity --- and green jobs are part of the equation in building a clean environment and a vibrant economy!



[1] See Weatherization Assistance Program, U.S. Department of Energy and Weatherization Assistance Program Technical Assistance Center, National Association for State Community Services Programs

[2] Green Jobs Overview (video – 5:58), Community Action Partnership, October 11, 2011

[3] Green Jobs Promising Practices (video), Community Action Partnership, October 25, 2011

[9] Pathways Out of Poverty, JFF GreenWays Initiative

[10] Green-Collar Jobs in America’s Cities: Building Pathways Out of Poverty and Careers in the Clean Energy Economy, Apollo Alliance and Green for All with the Center for American Progress and the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, 2008

[11] Green Career Program, U.S. Department of Labor

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This website was created by NASCSP in the performance of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Grant Number 90ET0431 and the Community Action Partnership in the performance of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Grant Number 90ET0428.

Any opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the US DHHS, ACF.