Programs & Initiatives
Proposition 39, passed overwhelmingly by California voters, provides a small, five-year, window to target California’s outdated K-14 school facilities for deep energy retrofits. The goal is to update these underfunded public buildings with badly-needed modern technologies like LED lighting, energy-efficient HVAC systems and renewable energy.
EC Oakland was invited by kW Engineering to participate in its bid under the Oakland Unified School District’s (OUSD) Request For Qualification. Their proposal won the technical assistance contract and will identify for OUSD how best to target the efficiency work during the five-year project. kW Engineering is the prime contractor, and EC Oakland will join the team as a subcontractor providing workforce and community support services. During the interview on the proposal, OUSD noted that EC Oakland’s participation was key to the successful bid.
Given the proposition’s title – “California’s Clean Jobs Act” – the EC Oakland team believed it was critical to target project opportunities, including career pathways, to students and other local residents.
Multi-Craft Curriculum (MC3)was introduced to the Bay Area’s East Bay when EC Oakland Local Council partner Rising Sun Energy Center accepted the invitation from ECC’s national office to learn and adopt the nationally-accredited curriculum. The Multi-Craft Core Curriculum provides a gateway from high school or community college to joint industry-registered apprenticeships in the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, establishing, for the first time, standardized pre-apprenticeships for entry into any one of the building trades. Rising Sun Energy Service had a successful first cohort of trainees this summer, with many local trades participating in its program.
In addition, EC Oakland’s co-chair John Brauer, director of workforce for the California Labor Federation, has initiated the process of bringing MC3 to high school students throughout the state, with notable success.
Bringing MC3 to high schools will once again expose youth to a variety of building industry crafts and sectors. This will encourage critical partnerships and pathways to community college, providing support to residents of low-income communities and communities of color in their pursuit of careers offering union skills and wages.
USGBC Community Green School Program: Emerald Cities Collaborative targeted Laney College (Peralta Community College District) to organize students and faculty to participate in the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Community Green Program, first introduced to the Bay Area at Emerald Cities’ October 2012 Community College Initiative at Berkeley Community College.
EC Bay Area built consensus, motivation and strategic support of faculty over a two-year period with the tireless support of Laney’s President, Dr. Elnora Webb. Notably, Charles Neal, the school district’s sustainability manager, worked to expand the USGBC alliance with district-wide plug-in electric stations to increase electric car adoption by faculty and the community.
Success is also due to the generous $2 million grant from Bank of America (BofA), which supports community college students who are acquiring professional Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Associate) certification. This year with the Career Tech and Education faculty, EC Oakland will help Laney achieve its ambitious goal of 100 students becoming LEED GA professionals through the BofA grant.
BEST Center PG&E grant: EC Oakland Director Tara Marchant, with support of Peralta Community College District (PCCD), led the consideration of a project of Laney College’s Building Efficiency for a Sustainable Tomorrow (BEST) Center for Pacific Gas & Electric’s (PG&E) Zero-Net Energy grant program. The project was accepted, and in 2012 approximately $200,000-worth of technical assistance from PG&E Zero-Net Energy providers allowed FLAD architects, Laney’s Career Technical Education faculty and PCCD’s General Service Department to design the BEST Center to PassivHaus standards. Laney’s $5 million BEST facilities will exemplify the most rigorous standards for efficient buildings to date and act as showcase learning center for the North Bay.
When ground is broken for the BEST Center in 2016, EC Oakland will help students and faculty, through the USGBC Community Green Program, earn credit, internships and in some cases workforce experience.
The Peralta Community College District's (PCCD) Board of Trustees have signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) to work with Emerald Cities Oakland on a college-wide energy efficiency retrofit project. EC Oakland TA providers have walked the PCCD campus and reviewed the scope of potential retrofit work. EC Oakland also identified financing structures that would allow Peralta Community College to accelerate its project timeline and its NetZero campus goal.
Tara Marchant: Director
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Tara, like many others, is defining herself in the emerging Green paradigm. Tara is working across a host of stakeholder organizations (public, labor, community and industry and workforce development) to bring a collective effort to retrofit our urban core, create high road jobs, build our democracy, reduce energy use, and increase direct investments to Bay Area communities. Tara created and was the program manager of the Green Assets Program at the Greenlining Institute, where alliances, advocates and elected officials contributed to California’s Climate legislation AB 32: an ambitious climate framework for pricing Green House Gases (GHGs) and carbon. She is a board member to California Energy Service Corporation (CESC), a nonprofit dedicated to assisting low-income and senior communities with energy retrofits and living in healthy environments. As an AD 16 Delegate to the California Democratic Party for four years (2006-2010), she was active with other progressives in bringing back the notion of democracy and grassroots voices. As an organizing committee member for East Bay Democracy for America, she has for the past decade brought monthly educational forums on local, state and national issues to East Bay communities of the San Francisco Bay Area. Most recently, Tara is proud of her work as associate producer of “Heist-who stole the American Dream” (www.heist-themovie.com). This documentary was a 2012 New York Times Critics Pick and recently was selected as #8 most transformational documentary by AwareGuide - "A Transformational film…seeks to inspire the movement of society towards ideals, values and practices that create a better world for everyone. They focus on solutions, not problems, for issues such as: consciousness, environment, energy, health, inspiration and social issues." Tara graduated from Yale University and also holds a permaculture credential. She longs for a big garden to produce food and develop urban food systems that are sustainable.