Sierra Club Sponsors Green Jobs Expo to Showcase Community and Employment Opportunities

The West Virginia Chapter of Sierra Club will host a Green Jobs Expo to highlight opportunities for careers and employment in sustainable businesses in West Virginia on June 20, 2017 at the Holiday Inn Martinsburg.

Prior to a complimentary dinner buffet and Catching the Sun film screening, there will be breakout session workshops on energy efficiency, heat pumps, solar installations, wind turbines, and U.S. Electric Car sales. The evening will conclude with a follow-up question and answer session with WV Senator John Unger.

Suprena Mills, Employment Specialist for WorkForce West Virginia will speak with employers during the event about a grant program that pays up to $2,000 for new full-time workers’ customized training, and 50% of salaries for six months up to $6,000.

Also, Sandra Gosnell-Shaffer, Manager of the Martinsburg WorkForce West Virginia Office will be on hand to process applications and/or resumes for jobseekers and businesses seeking employees for their firm.

According to Dr. Pamela Ellis, Energy Efficiency Liaison for the Sierra Club West Virginia Chapter, “Our goal for the Green Jobs Expo is to invite the community to explore, enjoy, and protect environmental resources, while learning about a burgeoning sector of new jobs. We are ecstatic about a growing list of sponsors who also want to ensure that Martinsburg and other areas of West Virginia are not left behind in labor participation in Green industry positions. This free event will assist individuals and families who want to access energy cost-saving benefits and/or be employed in a Green Industry position.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010), green jobs are defined as either:

  • Jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources.
  • Jobs in which workers’ duties involve making their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.1

West Virginia green jobs include those involved in the design, manufacture, and installation of energy efficiency products and services. Food production, or organic farming, is another important green job sector. Not only are engineers, architects, conservation biologists, farmers, and entrepreneurs needed, additionally construction workers, energy auditors, retrofitters, solar installers, and wind turbine technicians are among the many highly sought after, in-demand occupations representing the green industry.

IEEFA Energy Analyst, Cathy Kunkel (2015) reported, “A $1 million investment in energy efficiency supports, on average, 14 to 20 jobs. A $1 million investment in conventional power generation, by comparison, supports about 10 jobs.” These jobs are well-paid in comparison to traditional fossil fuel generation employment with an average of $5,000 more in median salary. There are lower health risks for workers, and less environmental impact to natural resources. The educational level required for the majority of Green Industry jobs involve apprenticeship training and certification.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, although seating is reserved from 2 pm until 8 pm. Advance tickets are required via:

For sponsor benefit information, call (304) 404-4150, or email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The Sierra Club is America’s largest grassroots environmental organization. The West Virginia Chapter has over 2500 members and advocates for clean energy, healthy air and water, and public lands and green spaces. For more information, visit us at

1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( 2010). Retrieved from

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