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.

We are hiring for a Green Workforce Academy Coordinator! This position will be based at NAYA, and will work closely with the GWA Program Manager and the entire Collaborative to support the day-to-day operations of the Academy. The position is open until filled.

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
  • $1,770 stipend 

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


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

2022 Academy Schedule

Session 1: April 25-May 27
Session 2: August 15-September 16
Check back soon for details on our 2023 schedule.

Info Session

Join us for an online info session. Check back for more information!


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.

COVID safety

To keep our communities safe, we limit class size, maximize our time outdoors, provide PPE to participants and teachers, and have in place a full COVID-19 protocol in case of exposure or illness. Participants and teachers are required to be vaccinated or participate in weekly testing. Rapid tests will be provided. 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. Collaborative members represent the communities we serve and also act as classroom teachers. Our curriculum is grounded in Black and Native cultures, and our approach is rooted in the belief that participants bring critical and relevant experiences and knowledge to the classroom to build upon.

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.

It requires a community of partners to make this green jobs training program impactful for Black and Native adults in the Portland metropolitan area. Are you interested in hiring graduates of the Green Workforce Academy? Read about our partners and their qualifications here.

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