Gerald King can’t wait for the day when green jobs become plentiful all over Albuquerque. The New York native says he’s tired of working dirty, low-paying jobs that don’t benefit the environment.
King says he feels like he’s worked every one of those jobs, but confesses that his “bottom rung” was his stint at a fast-food restaurant, serving up “unhealthy, jacked-up food.”
Indeed, fast food restaurants, which serve heavily-processed starches, sugars and meat from far-flung sources, pay the lowest and have the highest carbon footprint of any food sources around.
King, who is 32, said he learned about green jobs recently while attending classes at the Central New Mexico Community College, or CNM. Specifically, he read about the green jobs initiative spearheaded by New Mexico Youth Organized, a piece of proposed city legislation that would provide training for those seeking green jobs and incentives to businesses who offer them.
King volunteered with NMYO to get the word out about green jobs and says he hopes to be one of the many people who will benefit if the City Council passes the initiative. Four city councilors introduced the measure to the entire body in May, and it will be taken up again in August.
Right now King works part-time at various jobs, including sometimes working as an extra on movies shot in New Mexico.
But King says he would love to take a permanent, full-time position in recycling work or possibly bike repair – a clean job that benefits and enhances the environment, without harming it. He says he would welcome the opportunity to get training for his new job.
“I mean, you’re not necessarily just learning a trade, you’re learning a conscious trade,” he says. “If a green job were available for me, I would be one of the first people in line.”
King’s also been pretty busy spreading the word about green jobs. Many of his friends had no idea what they are, so he had to spend a lot of time educating them.
“They’re like, `Man, what’s a green job?’ so then I tell them, ‘It’s a job like recycling or landscaping.’ In my circle of friends, my peoples know now.”
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