Oakland, CA — A Green Jobs & Careers Fair hosted by an interfaith coalition drew a diverse group of job seekers to Mount Zion Church in West Oakland on Saturday.
“As a resident of West Oakland, I want to see this community, which has borne the brunt of fossil fuel pollution, now benefit from the growth of the green jobs sector. As a pastor, I also feel compelled by my faith to care for Creation. In order to avoid catastrophic climate change, we need a green energy revolution, and I want my community to be part of that,” said Rev. Ambrose Carroll, Founder, Green the Church.
The Jobs Fair was planned for West Oakland in order to bring healthy and sustainable jobs to the community where the canceled coal export terminal had been proposed. Oakland clergy and community leaders have found common ground on the need for jobs and sustainable career paths in marginalized communities.
Speakers included Pastor Michael Wallace of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist (the host church), Pastor Ambrose Carroll, founder of Green the Church, Cheryl Vaughn of Solar Richmond, and Ms. Margaret Gordon of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project.
Organizers of the event said they hoped to address the challenges of the climate crisis, economic inequality, displacement and high unemployment rates.
In addition to immediate job opportunities, the Green Jobs Interfaith Coalition is focusing on careers and training, and ongoing support for those who request it. “As someone who has done many trainings with those who have had barriers to employment in the past, I am really excited to see the faith community stepping up to provide support. Getting the job is only the first step. Keeping the job is the next – and making that job into a long-term, sustainable career is something we need to pay more attention to,” said Cheryl Vaughn, Executive Director of Solar Richmond.
Employers in attendance included AC Transit, East Bay MUD, East Bay Regional Parks District, City of Oakland, Goodwill Industries of the East Bay, and GRID Alternatives.
The Green Jobs Interfaith Coalition has united to address the economic, environmental and social challenges that face East Bay communities by seeking to foster a thriving green economy that builds equity and inclusion. Members include California Interfaith Power & Light, Episcopal Impact Fund, Faith Baptist Church, Green the Church, GRID Alternatives, Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Sierra Club, Sunswarm, West Side Missionary Baptist Church, and the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project.
Photo above by Denisha DeLane of Aaron Clay, Sunswarm with Green Job Fair attendee.
For follow-up information, or to interview exhibitors or job seekers, contact Cheryl Vaughn, Cheryl@solarrichmond.org .