Co-op Cincy has been awarded a half-million-dollar federal grant to design strategies that improve equity and strengthen clean energy and sustainable construction jobs in Greater Cincinnati.
The 18-month grant is part of $16 million awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor to center the needs of workers while transitioning to a green economy.
The $495,816 grant will support good jobs for individuals from historically marginalized communities in Greater Cincinnati, particularly women, people of color, and blue-collar workers.
“We’re so honored and excited for this opportunity to drive equitable economic growth, creating an economy that works for all,” said Ellen Vera, Co-Director of Co-op Cincy. “Our goal is to empower workers and build community wealth as we transition to a more sustainable economy.”
“As part of our efforts, we’re going to form a broad-based coalition that includes local businesses, government entities, labor groups, local organizations, and educational institutions,” Vera added.
Co-op Cincy will identify practical strategies to improve job quality, the availability of good jobs, and worker influence in the climate resiliency sector, among other impacts. Vera pointed to Sustainergy Cooperative, a residential energy energy efficiency and solar power business in Co-op Cincy’s network, as evidence of how we can combine sustainable construction and good jobs.
The federal grant will help Cincinnati tackle wealth inequality while benefiting from the transition to a green economy. Nearly 25% of Cincinnatians live in poverty, while 6 of Ohio’s 10 most common jobs pay too little to support a family of 3. Around the country, the climate crisis is expected to create dramatic job growth in clean energy and sustainable construction. The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act will help drive expansion in the climate resiliency sectors.
“This is a historic opportunity to build community wealth while responding to the climate crisis,” said Vera. “We have to be very intentional about how we meet this moment.”
Brent Parton, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training at the Department of Labor, said the recent grant awards “will enable recipients to create and expand partnerships to develop training programs to provide the workforce needed in high-demand industries.”