Green Career Fair

Planning for the 2015 Green Career Fair is well underway! The event will take place on Friday, April 17th at Crestwood Christian Church in Lexington. The goal of this event is to inform high school students about the environmentally friendly educational and career opportunities available to them after graduation.

Last year’s fairs connected over 1,000 students across Central Kentucky with a wide array of resources in diverse industries, including nonprofit organizations, universities, financial aid programs, volunteer opportunities, and over 30 different businesses. We hope that this Spring’s event will be even more impactful on the students who are attending!

All high schools in Central Kentucky are invited to participate at no cost.  Bluegrass Greensource provides funding for busing students to the event and for substitute teachers.  Students will have the opportunity to speak with representatives from environmentally focused organizations from the Bluegrass Region as well as attend breakout sessions for more in-depth information.  Schools may sign up for for morning or afternoon sessions.  There is no limit to the number of students each school may bring.

Bluegrass Greensource is also seeking organizations to participate in this event. We are in search of businesses and programs whose mission statements emphasize sustainability, or who operate in an exceptionally environmentally conscious way. We are also looking for individuals or small groups to lead breakout sessions for students on a variety of different topics related to the green economy.

Please contact Macy Gould at or (859) 266-1572 for more information or to RSVP.


Career Fairs Introduce Students to Green Job Opportunities


In October, Bluegrass Greensource held three regional Green Career Fairs in central Kentucky. These events connected students with basic green jobs information and with businesses and colleges that offer green career opportunities, education, and/or training. The career fairs also featured interactive activities for students to engage with business and college volunteers.

The three Green Career Fairs were held at Danville High School, Locust Trace Agriscience Farm, and Kentucky State University. The Locust Trace Green Career Fair featured student tours of the net-zero energy and waste facilities. The KSU Green Career Fair featured break-out sessions on developing small businesses, green consulting, and a student-led session on caring for the environment. Over 1,200 students from 17 schools across Central Kentucky attended these Green Career Fairs.


Participating teachers were impressed with this program and hope to see more Green Career Fairs in the future. One teacher said, “Students do not realize that these careers are right here in their community, and these are jobs that pay [well].”

Bluegrass Greensource would like to thank Danville Independent Schools, Fayette County Public Schools, Franklin County Schools, and Kentucky State University for partnering with the Green Jobs Program to make the Green Career Fairs possible. We would also like to thank Central Vending and Aramark for providing snacks and lunch for the events.

Macy Gould, Green Jobs Coordinator, is already planning the next Green Career Fair for the spring. She wants next year’s Green Career Fair to be even more impactful than this year’s three – that’s why she is focusing her efforts on one, even bigger fair this time around as opposed to several in different parts of central Kentucky. Macy plans to reach out to many green businesses and high schools who were unable to attend this year and hopes that next year’s event will exceed the high expectations set by this year’s successes.

The fair will take place in the spring in Lexington, with an exact date and location to be determined soon. Be on the lookout for more information in the coming months, and contact Macy at if you’re interested in participating.


First Green Business Tour a Success

Our first ever Green Business Tour for educators was held on September 26th, and it was a huge success. Educators and Bluegrass Greensource staff toured Alltech and FoodChain in the morning, before heading over to the Plantory for tasty food and a “Lunch and Learn” session provided by Whole Foods. After lunch, educators toured Big Ass Solutions and the Kentucky American Water treatment plant in Lexington.  It was a busy day, jam-packed with information about these businesses, the ways these businesses are working to improve the environment, and green jobs that will be available to area students.

Participating teachers said, “[The Green Business Tour was] very helpful and will improve my ability to assist my students,” and “Visiting all of the businesses was a great experience! Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.”  We hope to continue to offer this opportunity to educators across Central Kentucky!

Bluegrass Greensource would like to thank Alltech, Big Ass Solutions, FoodChain, and Kentucky American Water for providing tours of their facilities and information to educators about Green Careers.  We would also like to thank Whole Foods for sponsoring our Lunch and Learn session at the Plantory and providing us with a delicious, healthy lunch.

If you would like to attend the next Green Business Tour or if you have questions about the Green Jobs Program, please contact Macy Gould at or 859-266-1572.

Whole_Foods_Market_logo.svg alltech Big AssSolutions FoodChainLogo ky-american-water


Green Jobs Program Offers Opportunities for Educators and Students

The Bluegrass Greensource Green Jobs Program is wrapping up its first year with some great events – the Green Business Tour and 3 regional Green Career Fairs. We are pleased to share that this program has been well received by participating schools in the Bluegrass. These established partnerships with schools have the potential to offer Green Jobs programming and career readiness training to more than 16,800 students in Central Kentucky!

As part of the Green Jobs Program, we are excited to offer a new educator tour this year focused on green businesses and career pathways. “I am so excited to not only be able to showcase the wonderful green businesses in our region,” says Amy Sohner, Executive Director of Bluegrass Greensource, “but also to help young people plan for a career that will help them find a satisfying job and improve our environment. This tour will prove to be one of the best professional development opportunities you have this year!”

Educators will tour Alltech, FoodChain, Big Ass Solutions, and Kentucky American Water and will be able to speak with representatives from each business. The goal of the green business tour is to expand participating educators’ understanding of green jobs and identify factors that enable or inhibit an adequately skilled labor force to support economic growth in the green sector in the Bluegrass Region.  Businesses participating in the tour offer field trip possibilities, internships, scholarships, and even job opportunities for educators to bring back to their students.  The Green Business Tour will be held Friday, September 26th from 8am to 4pm.  If you are an educator and are interested in participating in the tour, please contact Ashley Bryant Cheney for more information or view the informational flyer for the event here.

Bluegrass Greensource is also organizing three Green Career Fairs aimed at focusing students’ attention on the green jobs that are available in Central Kentucky. The fairs will be targeted toward high school students and will incorporate green job training programs and green business/career possibilities. We also hope to begin to build collaborative relationships among schools, students, and the green business sector.

Green Career Fairs will be held on October 2nd at Danville High School, October 17th at Locust Trace Agriscience Farm, and October 21st at Kentucky State University.  Here’s what Kathleen Campbell of Franklin County Schools had to say about partnering with Bluegrass Greensource for the Green Career Fair to be held at Kentucky State University: “I am very excited about the Green Career Fair – it has many more facets than the traditional Career Fairs. I feel there is something that will appeal to all students. Not only are there going to be businesses to inform students about their jobs, but there will also be scholarships, internships, and possible job opportunities.  Students will also be learning ways to make the earth a better place for generations to come.”

In 2015, Bluegrass Greensource plans to expand the Green Jobs Program to work with more schools and businesses, provide more classroom activities, connect students with internships and job opportunities, and reach more students.  Stay tuned for more exciting news from the Green Jobs Program!


Making Green Work at Franklin County Operation Preparation

On March 10th and 11th, the Bluegrass Greensource Green Jobs Program was at Kentucky State University for Franklin County Operation Preparation.  Operation Preparation is a joint effort of the Kentucky Department of Education and the Department of Workforce Development and provides a powerful opportunity for schools, students, parents and communities to collaborate and focus attention to the importance of planning for college and/or career (  This program is the perfect opportunity for students to learn about green career opportunities in their community.

Ben Lyle - Green Jobs Presentation

 Ben Lyle from the Division of Forestry answers questions about being a forester as part of the Bluegrass Greensource Green Jobs Information Session

Green Jobs Coordinator Ashley Bryant Cheney participated in the advising sessions for interested 8th graders and offered the first ever Green Jobs Information Session for all 10th grade students from Western Hills High School and Franklin County High School.  Through these programs, Bluegrass Greensource provided green jobs information to over 400 students.    Kenvirons and the Division of Forestry partnered with Bluegrass Greensource for the information session.  Aaron Morgan (Kenvirons), Chris Jones (Kenvirons), and Ben Lyle (Division of Forestry) all talked about their green jobs and used real-life examples to engage students. It was clear, through the presentations and the questions that students asked, this session opened students’ eyes to green career options.

Franklin County Operation Preparation was a huge success!  Bluegrass Greensource would like to thank Aaron Morgan and Chris Jones of Kenvirons and Ben Lyle from the Division of Forestry for talking to the 10th grade students about their green jobs.  Bluegrass Greensource would also like to thank the Franklin County schools for featuring the Green Jobs Program as one of their workshop sessions.

If you are interested in learning more about the Green Jobs Program, please contact Ashley at 859-266-1572 or


Talking About Green Jobs to Area Students

Bate College and Career Fair photoOver 300 students from Danville City Schools attended the Bate Middle School College and Career Fair on December 19th and learned about green careers.  Bluegrass Greensource partnered with Bate Middle School and the Danville Career Pathways Coach to educate students about their college and career opportunities.  In addition to learning about different colleges and military opportunities, students also learned about green jobs and green businesses right here in Central Kentucky.

The goal of the Greensource’s Green Jobs Program is to educate guidance counselors and students about the growing green economy so that students will be pursue green careers. Green careers offer students well-paying jobs that also benefit the environment.  Our Green Jobs Program, funded by the Americorps VISTA, plans to partner with other schools to host career fairs where green jobs will be highlighted.

If you would like more information about our Green Jobs Program, please contact Ashley Bryant Cheney at or (859) 266-1572.


Ashley Bryant Cheney Joins Our Team

Ashley photo

Bluegrass Greensource would like to welcome Ashley Bryant Cheney as our new Green Jobs Coordinator through Americorps VISTA.  Ashley grew up in rural Alabama and credits her rural upbringing and time spent on her grandparent’s farm with influencing her concerns for the environment. She moved to Knoxville, Tennessee to attend Carson-Newman University in 2004.  While in Tennessee, she worked at numerous non-profit organizations doing volunteer management, program development, and fundraising.  The time she spent living near the Smoky Mountains only furthered her love and appreciation of the natural world.

While attending Carson-Newman University and later Eastern University in Philadelphia, Ashley researched issues related to environmental conservation, urban homesteading, and community gardening and served on the board of directors for Narrow Ridge Earth Literacy Center. She moved to Kentucky in July and is enjoying all that Lexington has to offer.

Ashley is excited to be developing the new Green Jobs Program for Bluegrass Greensource and is looking forward to working with green businesses and area high schools to connect the young workforce with the growing green job market.  She is a great addition to our team!

If you are interested in learning more about Greensource’s staff, click here.


It pays – literally – to ‘go green’ as you consider career options now, in future

When I was in high school in rural Alabama, I thought that I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I had everything figured out. I was going to go to college, major in nutrition, go to medical school and become a doctor.

Upon arriving at college, I was bombarded by new career options; job opportunities that were completely foreign to me. I changed my major twice while in college (most students change majors four times), and I am very happy with my education and career choices.

This makes me wonder about all the high school and college students who don’t know about these opportunities. I only discovered “green-collar” jobs my senior year of college by reading an article online, and now my job is to connect high school students with green careers.

You may be asking……what exactly is a green job?

A green job is any position in agriculture, manufacturing, construction, installation and maintenance, as well as scientific and technical, administrative, and service-related activities that contribute substantially to preserving or restoring environmental quality (International Labor Organization).

And why should you care about green jobs?

Well, there are a lot of reasons to consider a green job. In a time when good jobs are hard to find, green jobs are and will continue to be plentiful. Also, green jobs pay up to 20 percent more than other jobs, and becoming trained in a green-collar vocation provides advantages over those people who are already in the workforce.

Green jobs are often found close to home. Green jobs are for everyone Finally, green jobs help to protect and improve our environment.

Even if you’re not interested in installing solar panels or becoming an environmental educator, knowing what “green” is and using it to your advantage when applying for a job is a worthwhile plan. Whether you are straight out of school, middle-aged or looking for a new career, you should plan to stay on top of “green” trends and opportunities. You could be a plumber working in the community and still need to know how to save homeowners money on materials or energy conservation, or how to save a business money with a conservation plan if you repair and install sprinklers systems.

Whatever you decide to do regarding employment, re-employment, training or education, now is the time. Green opportunities are out there in Kentucky. You can get involved in the “green economy” and be proactive to make sure you’re not left behind saying, “I wish I had known about that” or “I didn’t know that job existed.”

To learn more about Green Jobs or the Green Jobs Program at Bluegrass Greensource, contact Ashley Bryant Cheney, Green Jobs Coordinator at or call 859-266-1752.

Ashley photo

Ashley Bryant Cheney is the green jobs coordinator for Bluegrass Greensource, connecting green businesses with a young workforce and preparing students for green careers in the Bluegrass. From Knoxville, she’s worked in volunteer and program management at various nonprofits. She has a bachelor’s in Psychology from Carson-Newman University and a master’s in Urban Studies and Community Development from Eastern University.


Green Jobs for a Green Future

Green Construction Hat

Bluegrass Greensource is starting a new program to promote green jobs to low-income high school students in the Bluegrass region!

Green jobs are growing faster than the national average for jobs in non-green sectors, and this growth is expected to accelerate in the coming years.  The goal of this new program is to improve the preparation of low-income students for higher paying jobs by building the capacity of high school guidance counselors and teachers to better inform their students about jobs in the green economy.

Bluegrass Greensource hopes to achieve this goal by building a green jobs database to be used by students and school staff, taking interested counselors/faculty on a tour of regional green businesses, and working with counselors/faculty to organize green career fairs. With the the new Green Jobs Program we hope to coordinate with green businesses to educate high schoolers about high quality green jobs. By doing so, we can improve our environment and, at the same time, provide quality employment opportunities.

But what is a green job?  A “green job” refers to any position in agriculture, manufacturing, construction, installation, and maintenance, as well as scientific, technical, administrative, and/or service-related activities that contribute substantially to preserving or restoring environmental quality (International Labor Organization).  Why should we be encouraging young people to pursue a green career?  Well, for one thing, green jobs pay up to 20 percent more than other jobs! And green jobs are not just for scientists; they are for everyone! Becoming trained in a green-collar vocation provides advantages over those who are already in the workforce.

Green jobs are often found closer to home than you might think, and these jobs help protect and improve our environment!

Green jobs are the future, and we want young people in the Bluegrass region to be prepared for the rapidly growing, “green” future!  For more information about this program, or if your business would like to be included on our database, please contact Ashley Bryant Cheney at