Students get chance to learn about green jobs
When Diana Klein broke into the construction industry more than 25 years ago, sustainability wasn’t even in the vocabulary of most engineers.
So she had to create her own opportunities, including founding Eco-Integration in 2006, a sustainable design consulting firm.
On Saturday, Klein and her colleague Fiona Zawadzki of the Green Bricks Education Society will be hosting the first Green Collar Futures career conference at the Hilton Metrotown to help guide young people into green jobs.
The conference, which is expected to attract more than 150 Grade 10-12 students from around the province, features 26 mentors from fields like environmental law, carbon accounting, hydrologists, energy modellers, mechanical engineers and architects, who will talk about their career paths, opportunities and field questions from small groups.
Klein said green jobs are a growing opportunity for young people to turn their passion for the environment into real solutions.
“There are a lot of students who are interested in sustainability,” said Klein, who predicts green jobs will double in the next 10 years. “They’re inspired to take action. They’re excited about the future.”
That future can include everything from designing environmentally friendly buildings, constructing green roofs, engineering more efficient transportation systems, even building homes made of mud.
Klein said reaching students when they’re just starting to think about their career options is key. She and Zawadzki have plenty of opportunity to tap into their zeitgeist through Green Bricks, which has been conducting school programs on sustainable land use and building targeted at Grade 10 students since 2007.
“The feedback we get is they want to understand what sorts of careers are available to them that will combine their passion for the environment with what they want to do,” said Klein.
Participants in the seminar will also hear a keynote address given by Dr. Nicholas Coops, a professor in the Department of Forestry at UBC with a specialty in climate change, conservation and remote sensing and they’ll have a chance to talk with filmmakers behind Just Eat It, a new documentary about food waste.
There is no charge to attend the seminar thanks to financial support from BC Hydro, Fortis BC and the Vancouver Foundation. But spaces are filling fast, said Klein.
To register, go to www.greenbricks.ca/futures.