President Obama’s Better Buildings Initiative Holds Promise for Latino Workers, Says NCLR
February 08 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2011
Washington, DC—President Obama’s Better Buildings Initiative to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings has the potential to create significant new job opportunities for many Latino workers, according to NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. An NCLR analysis released today reveals that nearly 400,000 Latinos work in occupations that could see significant job growth under this program.
The Better Buildings Initiative is part of President Obama’s plan to “win the future” by investing in energy-saving technologies. It will make commercial buildings more energy efficient while creating new jobs and making the country’s air cleaner through a series of incentives to upgrade offices, stores, schools, universities, and hospitals across the country.
“Transitioning to the energy efficiency sector is not a far leap for Latino workers in related industries, such as construction,” said Eric Rodriguez, Vice President of NCLR’s Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation. “If Congress and the president are serious about saving energy and creating jobs, then we must remind them that they need to invest in workforce training programs which provide workers with not only the opportunity, but also the essential training and skills to achieve work in this area and meet the program’s strategic goals.”
According to NCLR’s analysis, thousands of Latino workers, from insulation installers to mechanical engineers, have the background to help carry out the necessary building upgrades. However, 90% of these workers will need additional training to transition to energy efficiency jobs from other industries.
“We applaud the Obama administration for laying out a bold vision for business growth and job creation,” Rodriguez said. “We look forward to working with policymakers to ensure that Latinos can fully contribute to these efforts to move our nation forward.”
Geography:California, Far West, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, Texas