|OAI –||Commitment to environmental sustainability|
|and social justice since 1995|
Since the mid-nineties, and well before “green job” became part of the mainstream vernacular, OAI has been involved in the design and implementation of training programs for careers in the environmental industry.
From providing the skills and training necessary for remediating environmental hazards, especially within poor communities and communities of color, to engaging individuals in the process of resolving environmental issues that directly impact them and their families, OAI has been at the forefront of the environmental justice movement.
OAI has provided environmental health and safety training to thousands of individuals nationwide, many of whom come from blighted communities whose residents are exposed to toxins and pollutants on a regular basis. The skills and certifications gained by these individuals not only have helped them to work more safely but have also enabled them to secure jobs and build careers. Moreover, the knowledge they have gained has empowered them to become environmental stewards who can advocate for the cleanup of the polluted communities in which they live.
As the green movement has gained traction both locally and nationwide, OAI has emerged as a national green job training leader and policy advocate. OAI believes that green jobs can provide people with a living wage while helping individuals learn how to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Below are some of the activities, programs and professional affiliations which highlight OAI’s involvement in the green jobs movement at the local, state and national level:
- Membership in the Green for All Green Academy
- Steering committee membership in the Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Initiative
- Presenting papers and workshops at EPA Brownfields, NIEHS and Environmental Justice Conferences
- Developing a nationally recognized energy efficiency curriculum for entry-level workers
- Partnership with Cob Connection on CommuniTree – an urban agroforestry project which employs ex-offenders to grow trees and food on empty city lots
- Partnering with Chicago’s Greencorps program, which provides training and work experience in a variety of green industries
- Piloting a national Environmental Literacy program which focuses on increasing labor market skills and information on the green economy and green jobs
- Providing environmental health & safety training, including: Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, lead and asbestos abatement, and OSHA safety standards courses