The conclusion of our efforts described below led us to blend the notion of Sustainability with the skills necessary for sustained success. Going forward, we are working to separate the two.
Continue to look here for information and assistance in efforts to practice Sustainability in the workplace.
Stay tuned for a separate section, 21st Century Skills, with a focus on the skills necessary from a broader perspective.
This initiative started as an attempt to create a consortium centered on Clean-Tech companies and their future workforce needs. Funded by a yearlong Dept. of Labor grant, we quickly realized that defining Clean-Tech companies was a difficult task and, since the companies involved represented so many various industries, finding commonality among them was even more difficult. However, through the course of the project, one commonality did start to emerge – the value placed on sustainability. In fact, most described themselves as operating in a sustainable fashion since “before there was a word to define it.” They stated that it was part of their corporate culture or “in their corporate DNA.”
Our efforts next turned to how the SAWDC could use this commonality as a focal point of our efforts to not only enhance their economic vitality, but do so in such a way that they would collaborate with one another in their efforts. In so doing, there would be the kind of cluster development that is possible in more traditional industry clusters. Thus began our quest to identify more specifically what specific skills gaps these companies were seeing in the future workforce so that we could begin to fill those gaps as a consortium.
This effort led to a Clean-Tech Workforce Summit entitled “Sustainable Skills – Building the 21st Century Workforce.” By way of a documentary interview, several companies and thought leaders were asked to share their thoughts on the topic. These thoughts were summarized in two videos and elaborated on by two panel interview sessions. You can see these videos and footage of the interviews by clicking here.
This summit was intended to be the impetus to continued efforts to discuss the skill needs, identify resources for meeting them, and collaborating on our efforts to do so.