Featured Case Study

Los Angeles Green Retrofit and Workforce Program

About the Program

Approved by the Los Angeles City Council in 2009, this first-in-the-nation program’s goals are to create jobs, improve public health, and revitalize the city by remodeling city-owned buildings to be more energy and water efficient and creating a pathway to good, green, and safe jobs for workers in low-income communities.  Libraries, recreation centers, police and fire stations will receive upgrades through the city-run program.

In the pilot phase, 40 Los Angeles workers underwent an intensive training program and are currently retrofitting more than 20 city-owned buildings.  This connects workers to new career pathways in green construction and maintenance, while making city buildings more efficient and saving taxpayer dollars.

The Los Angeles Apollo Alliance is a coalition of 25 labor, environmental, and community organizations working to develop an equitable green economy that creates good, green jobs and career pathways for all Angelenos.

Snapshot of Innovation 

Beyond Green Jobs highlights the Los Angeles Green Retrofit Program as a pioneering city-run program that connects both green buildings and good jobs. By bringing together diverse stakeholders, the Los Angeles Green Retrofit Program was able to successfully combine energy efficiency policy with an economic development strategy focused on creating quality jobs.

The program also has a creative proposal to help public dollars go farther. As of the writing of this book the program’s Green Retrofit Advisory Committee is recommending that the City adopt an innovative financing mechanism to capture utility bill savings to sustain and expand the program. If the City adopts this proposal, it would allow the City to reinvest energy bill savings. Energy savings from current retrofits would sustainably finance program administration and future retrofits.

In a tough economy, this provides one model of how public programs can continue to grow.

About the Book’s Snapshots of Innovation

We see each of these programs as one puzzle piece of a deep green program.  Each program alone may not provide a comprehensive solution, but it offers new thinking that can help energy efficiency grow.

See the full list of case studies.