09 Putting Family Wage Jobs First


By Tom & Carol Braford

There has long been a debate about how best to address poverty and all the myriad challenges that flowfrom it. Of course, there is no one simple solution.

At ICB, we have developed a suite of what we refer to as the 5Rs sustainable, social and physical community building technologies that address most of what is needed to design, build and scale Just Post Carbon Communities of Practice using in-house labor and expertise. We now know that we need lots of workers tojoin our team and participate in our training program.

This is a radical departure, of course, from the typical model for most developments that has given us multiple varieties within a limited range of buildings and finishes, along with spiraling costs, increased materials waste, broadening income inequality and workforce shortages. Most tragically, this gives projects that gesture at social and environmental solutions while often making the situation worse. We desperately need breakthroughs in adopting the kinds of technologies and practices that we are committed to make available.

Our solution is to train a few already skilled trainers who are on board with this approach to cross-train semi-skilled and unskilled low to moderate income people to build out and operategrowing numbers of these communities, utilizing these breakthrough green technologies, and to give them the opportunity to become co-op worker-owners in one or more of ICB’s 5Rs worker owned co-ops over time.

One impact on the workers is that they will soon be able to afford to purchase homes in the communities they are building, making them stakeholder advocates for an expanding network of communities and the Rapid Alternative Freight & Transportation (RAFT) system connecting the communities together, starting with the Green Electron Car co-op andfleets of EVs that tie these communities and their host neighborhoods together in an efficient web of physical and social connectivity.

What aspects of this model resonate with you? If you would like to explore how you could participate with us, please reach out!

Contact: braford@sbcglobal.net