Background image of A yellow canoe, with roughly a dozen people sitting in it and paddling with sea green colored oars, floats in the middle of a slough. The slough is surrounded by trees with fall foliage on either side of it.


Looking to start a job in the green industry? Get your start with Green Workforce Academy. It's a 5-week, paid opportunity for Black, Native, and people of color in Portland who want to learn more about jobs in the green economy. Learn more.

The August 2021 session is now full. Check back for updates on our 2022 sessions.

Green Workforce Academy is offered in partnership with The Blueprint Foundation, Native American Youth and Family Center, Self Enhancement, Inc., Wisdom of the Elders, and Ecotrust.

Through Green Workforce Academy, participants learn about the environmental issues that impact their communities and what they need to know to get green jobs that find and implement solutions to those issues. By the end of the five-week program, participants will have received:

  • Workforce readiness training taught by instructors who are Black, Native, and/or people of color 
  • Opportunities to hear and ask questions from professionals working in the green sector
  • Tours to working operations that demonstrate green building and construction, solar installations, and more 
  • Hands-on field experience with a local Black-owned farm, professional arborists, habitat restoration work, and more
  • Career coaching and planning
  • Assistance finding green jobs
  • Roots of Success national certification in environmental literacy
  • $1,600 stipend 

Is the Green Workforce Academy for you? Watch our virtual info session to find out.


Green Workforce Academy is culturally specific for Black and Native American young adults. All who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color are welcome to apply. Participants must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED/TASC.


We meet Monday–Thursday, 9am–3pm with 2 classroom days and 2 field days each week. Transportation and lunches are provided.

2021 Academy Schedule

Session 1: May 3-June 4 (full!)
Session 2: August 23-September 24 (full!)

COVID safety

In response to Oregon Health Authority and CDC guidelines related to COVID-19, we limit class size, maximize our time outdoors, provide masks and other personal protective equipment relevant PPE to participants and teachers, and have in place a full COVID-19 protocol in case of exposure or illness. Participants who show proof of vaccination are not required to wear masks outdoors. Find an upcoming vaccination clinic near you.

Learn more or email the GWA Program Manager Teresa Gaddy at .

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Black and Native communities experience outsized impacts from environmental pollution and climate change. In Portland, Black and Native communities also experience high rates of unemployment and inequitable access to living-wage jobs in the green sector. Yet, these are the voices that should be at the center of environmental justice and climate work.

Green Workforce Collaborative

Population growth is creating significant demand for new infrastructure that minimizes environmental impacts and ensures climate resilience. To build a workforce ready to meet this growth, Ecotrust has joined with a powerful collective of partners—The Blueprint Foundation, Native American Youth and Family Center, Self Enhancement, Inc., and Wisdom of the Elders—to design and launch Green Workforce Academy, with a curriculum based on the nationally recognized Roots of Success workforce readiness program.

Being a Collaborative member is an opportunity to join, support, and learn from each other as we confront systemic inequities and build economic and environmental injustice.

For more information on upcoming Academy sessions, being a part of the Collaborative, or to share Green Workforce employment opportunities, contact Teresa Gaddy at .

Foundational research & resources

Jobs and Equity in the Urban Forest

2017, Ecotrust and Policy Link
An examination of the economic, ecological, and social impacts of existing community based urban forestry investments designed to benefit low-income communities and communities of color.

When Portland banned blacks: Oregon’s shameful history as an ‘all-white’ state

June 7, 2017, Washington Post
Examining the little-known history of Oregon’s racial exclusion laws, including the 1844 “Peter Burnett Lash Law.”

An Unsettling Profile

2010, Coalition of Communities of Color
A report that aims to make the experiences of communities of color widely available to policy makers, advocates, researchers, and educators.

Green Workforce Collaborative Members