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Greenforce® Initiative in Illinois

In Chicago and the wider Illinois region, the Greenforce® Initiative is working with many supporting organizations, including the Illinois Green Economy Network, the Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Initiative and with City Colleges of Chicago. The Greenforce® Initiative continues to bring a special focus to this network by assisting community colleges in the development of career pathways for lower-skilled adults and integrating campus sustainability efforts into the curriculum and connecting colleges with key employers in the region. In Phase II of the initiative, the focus is on employer engagement, and we continue to have a focus on urban agriculture and green/lean manufacturing. 


Wilbur Wright College NASA Professional Development Institute, March 20, 2014; Building a Diverse, Green Workforce

Chicagoland Green Labor Market Report, published September 2012

Watch now: Chicagoland Green Labor Market Report Review Webinar, September 26, 2012


The following Chicagoland Greenforce® Initiative partners were awarded innovation grants to advance their efforts in the areas of green workforce development and campus sustainability:

College of Lake County: Development of a Green Economy Center Website, which will serve as a tactical hub for the growth of Lake County and North Eastern Illinois green economy; providing information, tools, resources and virtual peer-to-peer exchange opportunities which contribute to informed and integrated sustainable economic development.

Lincoln Land Community College: Mini-model home for hands-on learning and technical training in the areas of green construction, renewable energy and other programs on campus.

Olive-Harvey Community College: Development of a wetlands curriculum guide with sample lessons and photography which focuses on the wetland environment on the Olive-Harvey campus.

Richard J. Daley Community College: A case study and research document showcasing the success and challenges the City Colleges of Chicago have had in training for green careers.

Wilbur Wright College: Expansion of their green roof to be used as a hands-on learning laboratory and to improve their stormwater runoff, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and improve the greening of their campus.

Take a visual tour of our innovation grant projects in action.



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Where We Work

More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. The National Wildlife Federation is on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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