ACE MV Starts Training Vineyard Residents for Green Careers 

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To: Bluedot Living

From Lisette Williams, Career Navigation Specialist, ACE MV

One way to combat climate change is to enter a sustainable or “green” career. The U.S. Dept. of Labor defines a green career as any occupation that is affected by activities such as conserving energy, developing alternative energy, reducing pollution, or recycling. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, green jobs produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources; they also help make an organization more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources. Founded in 2008, ACE MV is the established adult education provider in Dukes County and is the Island’s only entity that offers comprehensive workforce education, including certificates, Continuing Education Units (CEUs), licenses, and degrees in education, business, healthcare, technology, trades, renewable energy, and language. Our mission is to provide Vineyard residents and workforce with learning experiences that enable them to thrive through skill building, professional development, credentialing, and lifelong learning. We envision a Vineyard community that is economically and culturally rich — whose youth and adults are independent, self-confident, and have the ability to achieve professional and personal goals. 

While many green jobs require a bachelor’s degree to enter, there are a number of jobs that do not require a college degree, such as: 

● Offshore Wind Turbine Technician 

● Green Construction Worker 

● Construction Inspector 

● Hazardous Materials Worker 

● Recycling Coordinator 

● Refuse Materials (Garbage) Collector 

● Park Worker 

● Electric Vehicle (EV) Sales 

● Green Automotive Mechanic 

● Firefighter 

● Eco Landscaper 

● Environmental Technician 

● Green HVAC Technician 

● Solar Installer 

In January 2020, ACE MV launched Martha’s Vineyard’s first Offshore Wind Turbine Technician Certificate program through Bristol Community College; our first cohort graduated in December 2021. This workforce education program is especially important because Vineyard Wind 1, the nation’s first major offshore wind farm being built just 15 miles away from the Island, will create thousands of jobs that Vineyard residents can be eligible to apply for. 

We are exploring adding flood management, harbor management, facilities management, and electric vehicle maintenance learning opportunities in the coming years. We are also looking at aquaculture and the career pathways that go with biotechnical jobs around the water. In addition, we’re working on developing marine and maritime skills and credentials. If you’re interested in joining our new advisory board, please let us know. We are committed to working with the towns and other agencies to develop environmentally sound educational priorities. If you would like to connect about ways to improve how young people between the ages of 16 and 26 experience life on Martha’s Vineyard, please reach out to me at lisette@acemv.org. 

In February 2021, Lisette Williams joined ACE MV as Career Navigation Specialist. Her role includes collecting data about young persons ages 16-26, especially those who are disconnected from school and/or employment; developing resources for Vineyard students; overseeing the development of a new section of the ACE website devoted to career readiness; co-teaching workshops; and supporting career readiness programming efforts in partnership with the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. Lisette has a passion for helping young people transform and through her work at ACE, is helping young persons on Martha’s Vineyard discover their career interests and gain the skills necessary to enter the local workforce.

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