News Release: Student Life, Sustainability

Nov. 18,  2009

Connecting to the Growth of 'Green' Jobs

From Emory Report

Despite the continuing rocky economy and the change of the seasons, some things are still green and growing: "Green" jobs.

"The outlook for green jobs is very positive, as the U.S. and other nations continue to explore alternative energy sources and as businesses everywhere look for ways to use resources more wisely and to save costs," says Paul Bredderman, assistant director of Emory's Career Center.

For the second year in a row, The Career Center hosts "Green Networking Night" on Nov. 18 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Dobbs University Center's Winship Ballroom, where students and metro Atlanta's green professionals mingle to explore career opportunities in media, business, health, government, transportation, advocacy and law, among others.

The Center's partners - the Office of Sustainability Initiatives, Office of University-Community Partnerships, Department of Environmental Studies, Emory Alumni Association and the Blue and Gold Make Green Alumni Network, University Food Service Administration and Volunteer Emory - are broadening the scope from last year's successful initial event, which drew 98 students and 38 Atlanta-based green professionals.

Community sponsors include Sevananda Natural Foods Market and Flat Creek Lodge.

"Our own network of green professionals keeps expanding, and we really want to showcase the fact that there are green career paths available to students from all majors and disciplines who are looking to make an impact," Bredderman says.

In addition to dispensing information on new jobs in new fields, the event serves a secondary purpose: Teaching students how to network.

"We chose to keep the event as a networking night, rather than a career fair, because it's crucial for our students to learn how to proactively reach out and meet people who are doing the kinds of things they're wanting to do," Bredderman says. "They need practice in conveying their professional goals and interests in order to be persuasive and generate enthusiasm in what they have to offer as new workers."

The event is for undergraduate and graduate students from all majors and backgrounds. "We want students to stay wide open to the possibilities" of translating what they've learned into work that's sustainable and fulfilling, says Ciannat Howett of the Office of Sustainability Initiatives.

Howett also says the networking night is "the first rollout" of Blue and Gold Make Green, a new group of alumni interested in sustainability.

"It's the perfect way to introduce sustainable-related work, and our alumni are such great models for our students," Howett says.

Her office made a special effort to get nonprofits involved, including public interest and social justice organizations as well as environmental groups. "It's not only about environmental impact but social equity issues as well," she says. Another profession her office is keen on: Chefs and restaurateurs committed to locally-grown and sustainable foods.

"Finding the right niche is often the most challenging prospect for students seeking jobs within the realm of environmental sustainability," says Bredderman.

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