Los Angeles, CA — The Los Angeles City Council has unanimously voted to adopt a historic green retrofit and job training ordinance authored by Councilmember Herb J. Wesson, Jr. The ordinance establishes a program to retrofit city-owned properties to green conservation standards, and to create a job training program for workers from areas with high unemployment and poverty in the City of Los Angeles to be trained in green construction technology.
“The green economy is the wave of the future. This is the type of economic stimulus program that fits right in with President Obama’s vision for revitalizing our economy,” said Wesson. “In the wake of 11% unemployment in Los Angeles, we have an innovative approach to getting our local economy moving again.”
In addition to positioning the city to take on the green economy, this first-in-the-nation plan offers a way to revitalize the inner city by providing residents with a pathway to good-paying green jobs. It also saves public tax dollars through water and energy savings, as well as helps preserve our environment by reducing the city’s carbon footprint.
The plan targets about 1,000 of the city’s 1,300 city-owned buildings over 7,500 square feet that were built prior to 1978.
The program will be overseen by an Executive Director and a Green Retrofit Development Interdepartmental Taskforce within the Mayor’s office, and a Green Retrofit Development Advisory Council comprised of members of the community.
The $250,000 initially needed for staff and planning have already been identified. Plans to tap into $2 million in Community Development Block Grant funds and Workforce Investment Act funds to begin the Workforce Training Program are in progress. The establishment of this program also puts Los Angeles in an excellent position to compete for the $500 million in federal green jobs stimulus funds.
The city will also be seeking funds through state and federal grants, as well as utilizing the Department of Water and Power’s Energy Savings Program.