Building the Gulf
Recommendations for ensuring restoration benefits for communities and the environment report from Oxfam America and The Nature Conservancy
As the Gulf Coast region begins an historic investment in repairing its coast, it faces a significant new opportunity: it can tap into the local workforce as it prepares the next generation of environmental stewards and restoration professionals. By integrating workforce development into ecosystem restoration, the region can measure success not just in acres of habitat restored, but by how workers in the communities that suffered the most from environmental degradation are connected to in-demand, living wage jobs restoring that habitat.
In October 2014, Oxfam America, the Nature Conservancy, and the Corps Network convened experts at a workshop in Gulfport, MS, to identify challenges and opportunities in integrating workforce development into future ecosystem restoration projects. They examined current ecosystem restoration training efforts, as well as hurdles in working together to build workforce development into future projects. The goal of this report is to provide stakeholders with an overview of promising models and key steps for incorporating local training and hiring into restoration.