Startup News: SW Solutions kicks off $4M green jobs initiative, 360 new jobs

Southwest Solutions is kicking off a $4 million effort to create hundreds of jobs in Detroit's emerging green economy.

The Mexicantown-based nonprofit will run the Detroit GreenWorks Solutions. The federally funded program will train and place about 360 Southwest Detroit residents in green industry jobs, such as weatherization, landscaping, forestry and urban farming, over the next two years. Some of those jobs should be coming sooner rather than later.

"The jobs will be kick started by some of the federal money that is coming down to weatherize homes," says Linda West, program director of Detroit GreenWorks Solutions. "Some of that is already happening."

The weatherization jobs could be everything from changing old, leaky windows for more energy efficient ones to installing water-saving shower heads. It boils down to basic, entry level construction work, not skilled trades.

"The training is very robust," West says. "For weatherization, it's 10 weeks. For weatherization and deconstruction, it's 12 weeks. Everybody comes out with a polished up job that is ready to go."

Several local nonprofits are collaborating to make Detroit GreenWorks Solutions happen, including Southwest Solutions, The Greening of Detroit, WARM Training Center, Henry Ford Community College and Urban Farming.

Source: Linda West, program director of Detroit GreenWorks Solutions
Writer: Jon Zemke
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