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The mission of The DC Project is to advance economic and environmental justice by creating clean energy careers for people who need them most. Founded in January, 2009, by former leaders of the Obama for America campaign, The DC Project applies cutting-edge organizing tools and tactics to mobilize community interest in weatherization, creating economic savings, environmental benefits, and new green jobs. The DC Project is a "think + action tank," implementing theories in real time to create tangible benefits for the Washington, DC community, with the goal to replicate these solutions on a national scale.
The DC Project's community-based demand creation methodology is increasingly recognized as one of the nation’s most promising models for igniting the home energy efficiency jobs market. The crafters of the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2009 national "Retrofit Ramp-up" program were influenced by The DC Project’s methodology in designing its national program, and a number of national environmental, labor, and service groups already have expressed interest in adopting this model.
Grassroots, Local Initiative: WeatherizeDC
Within the larger environmental and energy efficiency community, The DC Project is an innovator, developing cutting-edge strategies to achieve the vision of an equitable green economy. As an anchor program and campaign, WeatherizeDC offers a unique space in which these models and strategies can be incubated, tested and refined. WeatherizeDC aims to reduce residential energy use to curb carbon emissions, and to create local green jobs for people who need them most.
WeatherizeDC is mobilizing one of America's greatest assets--community leadership and volunteerism --to unlock the promise of the home weatherization industry. Harnessing the power of campus activists, faith-based networks, and neighborhood groups, WeatherizeDC recruits, develops, and trains community leaders who can educate and mobilize their networks in support of home weatherization. It uses data-driven and empowerment-based engagement methods to create, track, and bundle consumer interest. Further, the program’s role in creating demand for weatherization projects uniquely enables it to coordinate with workforce partners to ensure that the new jobs created translate into career-track, sustainable-wage work for members of DC's most disadvantaged communities.
The Fellowship Experience
The purpose of the fellowship is to develop leaders in the economic and environmental justice movement and to bring new perspective to The DC Project from outstanding thinkers with a broad range of skills.
The convergence within The DC Project of workforce development, policy work, the development of the nascent residential energy efficiency industry, and innovation in data- and new media- driven community organizing puts the organization in a unique position to serve as an intermediary that can organize stakeholders around the vision of equitable green job creation. To complement their specific department projects, Fellows will be exposed to all of these diverse components of The DC Project. On any given day, a newly graduated weatherization trainee will be going to his first job with one of The DC Project’s partner contractors, while the policy team will be meeting with municipal government representatives to discuss wage standards for laborers in the green job sector. At the same time, under the coordination of the Field team, 50 volunteers will be canvassing homeowners, recruiting them to community energy meetings to learn about weatherizing their homes while the media team will be out to film it all for a new YouTube video that tells the story of green job creation. Back at home base, the innovation team will be looking at different business models to streamline the weatherization process while the operations team is piloting new modes of intra-organization communication. The Fellows, working under the direction of their respective department, will execute effective programs and continually improve the functions of the organization, adding yet another important component to this multi-faceted organization.
The Fellowship program operates during the summer and academic fall and spring semesters. The DC Project is committed to offering Fellows leadership and professional development; in addition to receiving feedback from staff on their work, Fellows will participate in brown bag lunch conversations with leading thinkers in the field (past speakers include Van Jones and Robert Egger), and will be exposed to events with high-impact networking opportunities.
For more information, pleae see the individual fellowship descriptions listed on volunteermatch.com or email The DC Project at firstname.lastname@example.org
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