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The Green revolution is in our hands

We inherit a legacy from our past. Often times in the Southeast side this is viewed as negative: a polluted landscape from large industries such as steel, an out of work manufacturing workforce which is over skilled and underpaid, and resultant pervasive unemployment. Yet if one looks at our situation from the angle of climate change, he/she sees the excellent opportunities the Calumet affords. For instance, due to our steel industry, we have a large, talented, and ready labor force experienced in manufacturing, perfect to take on the challenge of green industry. This could come in a variety of forms, such as manufacturing jobs for solar panels. The southeast side also has 3,000 acres of ‘brownfields’ (abandoned or under-used industrial lands) potentially conducive to alternative energy sites. Indeed, the Calumet region could produce a whole slough of “Green Collar” jobs, perhaps the best in the country. SETF sees the green revolution as a means of revitalizing the southeast side through the creation of jobs.

Poverty is multidimensional. Matrices that are of most valuable to measure poverty deal not only with economic benefit, but also freedom to choose a better life or the ability to run your own business. Green collar jobs are springing up nationwide in areas similar to the Southeast side. Minority owned green businesses are already established in the south Bronx for example. The challenge then, is to make sure that the new wave of industry, green industry, is able to proactively combat poverty in our communities. SETF looks forward to future collaboration with organizations like Green for All (www.greenforall.org) to make this happen. Indeed, our children’s future is in our hands.
Photo by Jessica Canas

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