05/31/2007 08:01 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Fighting for Green Jobs and Reaching America's Youth -- The Baldwin Park, California High School Experience

Tomorrow I will have the opportunity to speak to students in my
district at the first annual Baldwin Park High School Environmental
Awareness/Career Day, an event hosted by the National Hispanic
Environmental Council. This event is a unique opportunity for students
in Baldwin Park, a heavily Latino school district, to learn about
careers associated with the environmental and natural resources

Having just returned from a fact finding tour on global warming to
Greenland, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Belgium, I believe that
efforts to teach our youth about the environment are necessary now
more than ever. In my discussions with scientists and government
officials in these countries, it became apparent that while it is up
to our generation to be bold and have the courage to take action on
global warming, it will be up to our youth to be innovative drivers of
policy and new technology to bring our nation into the next century.

The National Hispanic Environmental Council's Baldwin Park High School
Environmental Awareness/Career Day is one such opportunity to reach
our youth. Every student has a role to play in improving our
environment and our community. The environmental professionals
available to them at this event can show them how doing their part can
not only improve the community, but also provide them with a secure,
successful career path.

I believe we must also invest in job training. A major national
investment in renewable energy could create 3.5 million green collar
jobs over a 10 year period. We must say to America's workers,
particularly those in both urban and rural underserved communities,
that "there is a place for you in the green economy." Investment
should be not only in improving infrastructure, but improving economic
opportunities. Job training can lead to self-sufficiency and
prosperity through higher wages, access to benefits and more career
choices. That is why I am proud to be drafting legislation to support
green collar job training programs and pathways out of poverty for our
nation's underserved communities.

I hope that encouraging our youth and ensuring underserved communities
achieve economic security can be a part of this green future.