UPenn Kleinman Center – A Clean Energy Workforce and the Path to Equity
Electricity is central to society—for organizing, communicating, working, and providing care. Depending on how we design and implement it, energy infrastructure can either enrich or impoverish a society.
In this talk, energy justice scholar Nikki Luke chronicles how subsidized worker training programs in the South, modeled after Van Jones’s “green jobs, not jails” program, grew a workforce of laborers in utilities, energy efficiency, and solar panel manufacturing. Based on interviews and observational data with union, charitable, and community college job training providers in Georgia, Luke demonstrates that more work must be done to instill high-road labor practices in the South, curtail geographical competition at the expense of workers, and support a social wage.