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Environmenatlists Push for a Green-Collar Job Economy

Dozens of environmentalists gathered today at Wright College to discuss ways to push a new green economy in the Chicago area.

The message: the ladder to the middle class in this post-industrial era is through green-collar jobs. Such jobs run the gamut – from home weatherization to solar roof paneling to urban organic farming. Kindy Kruller, an organizer of today's green-collar job summit, says the first step in building the movement locally is getting likeminded people together.

KRULLER: One of the problems is that some people don't know each other. Or they might know of each other but they don't know how they can work together. There's only a limited amount of resources out there and so how can we be most successful? And I see that through collaboration.

Throughout the day, unions, community organizers and government staff participated in panels to explain their projects and priorities. In one instance an electrical contracting union has trained its workers in green technology to keep them competitive in the job market. Kruller says activists are hoping to see five to ten-thousand new green jobs annually in the Chicago area.

I'm Natalie Moore, Chicago Public Radio.

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