Green infrastructure needs diverse workforce

We can shape our economy with the environment in mind

GREEN JOBS are our future. There is no denying it. In addition to helping us recover from the economic devastation of COVID-19, jobs in clean energy are poised to help protect our environment well into the future. I am pleased that President Biden and members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation are making green jobs a priority through the American Jobs Plan. With unemployment high from the pandemic, especially in communities of color like those served by Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, we have a chance to shape our economy with the environment in mind.

At Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, we are preparing a diverse student body for careers that will position Massachusetts as a leader in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainability is woven into our curricula, which focuses on tech and the trades.

The institute is opening the eyes of many first-generation and low-income college students to environmentally focused career paths. In the process, we are also helping students build the foundational skills to successfully enter the green energy workforce with middle income jobs. We want to ensure green infrastructure opportunities continue to proliferate in the Bay State and are made available to individuals from all backgrounds.

Meet the Author

Aisha Francis

President and CEO, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
New England has long been invested in transitioning to green infrastructure. With the recent federal approval of the Vineyard Wind project, Massachusetts has the first large-scale offshore wind farm in the United States in its backyard and will need qualified candidates to fill the demand for a clean tech workforce. This demand will only grow as more entities transition away from fossil fuel dependence. Green energy infrastructure projects are needed to create high-paying, good jobs for diverse individuals across New England.

As Congress develops our future infrastructure plans in the coming months, I hope that green energy projects and equitable job training projects remain top of mind. Future jobs and the environment are counting on it.

Aisha Francis is the president and CEO of the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology.