With the implementation of more and more GSI on public and private sites there is a growing need for skilled individuals to fulfill jobs as well as more firms to fulfill maintenance contracts.
As this industry grows in Philadelphia and nationwide there is a huge opportunity for individuals and firms to share in this growth and contribute to reshaping the industry.
But, there is a risk of underestimating the level of skill and training required to maintain GSI sites and ensure that the triple bottom line approach established in Green City, Clean Waters is upheld.
Maintenance contracts require a workforce with adequate training and a high skill level to apply SMP’s to GSI sites.
As we discussed last month, designing with maintenance in mind is not just the smart thing to do but a non-negotiable as the success of the project hinges on the long-term vision for maintenance.
But, if increased training is necessary to ensure that GSI has a positive impact on workforce development, then we argue that we must continue to elevate the value of maintenance.
To achieve the upside (more jobs), we must respond to the opportunity (workforce training).
Last Spring, in a guest editorial for the Brookings Institute, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney highlighted the strong correlation between green infrastructure and workforce development and how Philadelphia workers are uniquely positioned to benefit from a decentralized nature-based approach to stormwater management.