As we work to implement green stormwater infrastructure and nature based solutions within our Cities, there are a number of challenges limiting a green infrastructure workforce that supports living wages and accessible career pathways.  The Green Stormwater Infrastructure Workforce Collaborative (The Collaborative) serves as a space to both problem-solve on significant challenges in the GSI workforce development space, and to co-create projects and products that seek to serve as solutions to these challenges.  We seek to serve the needs of workers seeking family wage jobs in green infrastructure employment, as well as employers seeking qualified workforce to accomplish GSI projects across Western Washington State.  The Collaborative is a voluntary, non-hierarchical partnership of individuals, organizations, businesses, educational institutions and government agencies.

The Collaborative seeks to:

  • Provide a positive, collaborative space to share knowledge, challenges, and opportunities;
  • Center racial equity in efforts to develop career pathways;
  • Increase access to information and opportunities for internships, education, and long-term career positions within the GSI field; 
  • Develop equitable and accessible on-ramps for early career and career transitions, including investing in mechanisms for training and mentorship;
  • Advocate and actively shape equitable, living-wage, healthy, and safe career opportunities
  • Be engaged in the effort to standardize Best Management Practices within GSI to contribute to sustainable career opportunities

Members include:

  • Government (incl. Conservation Districts and Agencies at any/all levels)
  • Contractors & Trainers (incl. education, installation, and maintenance contractors/businesses)
  • Nonprofits (incl. Foundations, advocates, and project partners)
  • Frontline Communities

Collaborative Products:

The Collaborative launched in 2020 as a virtual convening group and since then has produced several projects:

  • Through the professional facilitation of SM Watts Consulting, the group developed a Charter that established the working norms for the GSI Workforce Collaborative with diversity equity and inclusion at the core. 
  • Produced a report in 2021 titled “Building Equitable and Sustainable Careers,” that highlights the strengths, challenges and opportunities that the GSI Workforce Collaborative seeks to address.
  • Commissioned a research effort by the Seattle Jobs Initiative to understand the existing and growing ecosystem of careers and career paths within green infrastructure.  The result is a report detailing this ecosystem and recommendations on how to address gaps and opportunities. The effort also produced an interactive dashboard.
  • Developed a collaborative, regionally relevant curriculum focused on core, introductory green infrastructure skills including green stormwater infrastructure, urban forestry and other related fields.

Connect with The Collaborative:

Collaborative members can connect in smaller workgroups, which currently include:


  • Exploring a workforce pilot for youth and young adults in Pierce County
  • Activating recommendations within the Mapping GSI Careers to Improve Diversity and Inclusivity report
  • Recruiting additional participants and developing communications to expand the network of those collaborating on workforce development

The Nature Conservancy in Washington currently acts as the primary convener of the coalition with facilitator and strategic support from SM Watts Consulting.

Join us.

If you are interested in learning more or getting involved in the work of the Collaborative, share your interest and we will follow-up.

© Hannah Letinich