Boosting San Francisco’s Green Economy with Green Job Training

Date: 
Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Holding the ranking as the best city for green jobs by Forbes, San Francisco has a booming green economy. SF Environment’s green careers program, Environment Now, works to keep this momentum going by ensuring that San Francisco residents have the skills to access these green jobs.

Environment Now: The “Feet on the Street” of SF Environment
Since 2009, Environment Now has helped prepare workers for jobs in the green economy. The team is comprised of San Franciscans from diverse backgrounds with a broad range of experiences and skills, all sharing a passion for protecting the environment.

Whether they are spreading awareness about energy efficiency, reaching out to local businesses about green practices, or helping residents properly sort their bins, members of Environment Now are on the ground every day engaging the public with the City’s environmental programs. While they work as the “feet on the street” of our Department, in the community, Environment Now members gain the experience and skills necessary to succeed in San Francisco’s green economy.

Gaining Experience and Skills for the Workplace
Through the program, Environment Now member Keith Dews has gotten the chance to be active in the business community by working with SF Environment's Green Business program. “I like working with businesses because I can show them how they can be environmentally sustainable and profitable at the same time,” he said. “Visiting businesses door-to-door can be both exciting and a challenge. Working with businesses across the city has strengthened my ability to work with diverse groups of people and has also helped me develop a lot of patience. Reminding myself that my work is for the environment helps me keep focused.”

Raquel Ruvalcaba, Environment Now alumnus, said that her time with Environment Now was eye opening. She worked at an auto parts store for seven years before joining the program. “I never thought my job had anything to do with the environment,” she said. “Working with Environment Now helped me make that connection, and showed me the impact that motor oil has on our environment.” Now, as the Used Motor Recycling Associate at SF Environment, she is working to ensure that motor oil is disposed of responsibly through SF Environment's Used Motor Oil and Filter Recycling program


Environment Now member Tina Addi talking with customers at Mission Pie, a San Francisco Green Business

Environment Now Comes to the Bayview
Environment Now just launched an outreach campaign in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood. They kicked off their campaign at the Grand opening of the Bayview Library, where they organized a “Hopscotch for Zero Waste” game for kids and signed residents up to stop junk mail from being delivered to their homes. They also joined the 33rd Annual Black Cuisine Cook-off on March 2nd to help train staff about food waste management, helping ensure that as many items are composted and recycled as possible.

Environment Now will be in the Bayview for another two months, so keep on the lookout for them if you live in the neighborhood. You may find them handing out reusable bags in Bayview Plaza, giving away compost near Old School Café, or even at your front door! The team plans to visit 8,000 homes in the Bayview to answer any questions that residents may have about composting and recycling at home. They may thank you with a high five (or even a reusable bag!) for helping our city reach our zero waste goals.

If you see them, feel free to say hello and ask them any questions you may have about energy efficiency, zero waste, and more. They are our some of our city’s most seasoned experts at answering that infamous question “Is this compostable?”

Follow SF Environment on twitter to find out where Environment Now will be next!