The Stone Soup Leadership Institute

On March 2, the Institute premiered the first video in the ​​Sustainable Career Video Series for our second Green Job Shadow Day. In the video, Oscar Tobacia, Offshore Wind Engineer, shares the story of his own professional journey, and encourages young people to seek out mentors to guide them as they explore the possibilities for their future careers.

Oscar Tobacia

Sustainable Career Pathways Video: Oscar Tobacia

We were honored to welcome special guests State Senator Marc Pacheco and Ed Lambert of the Massachusetts Business Education Alliance. “Thank you to the Institute for leading the challenge to promote understanding of job opportunities in the clean energy sector,” said Senator Pacheco. “We can have the best plans for life on our planet, but we cannot implement those plans if we don't have a clean energy workforce to do so.” 

Senator Pacheco

Green Job Shadow Day - Highlights

Students and teachers joined us from Boston Green Academy, Massachusetts Maritime Academy and from the Rising Stars program in New Jersey. Other guests included sustainability practitioners from EOM Offshore, LLC, Xodus Group, Tritonsys, in Massachusetts; Microsoft in Washington; the Wind Institute at NJEDA in New Jersey; a representative for Army corps of engineers; and globally in India and Ghana. 

Oscar Tobacia

Oscar Tobacia joined for an interactive session with students from Boston Green Academy and the Rising Stars program. Rising Stars alumnus Carolina Chincilla was eager to learn about apprenticeships – especially for technical skills. Tobacia referred to the 700-800 different kinds of roles that are needed to support the offshore wind industry, everything from planning and development to logistics, procurement, and vessel management. “It's great to be able to connect with students and answer the questions they have regarding what sort of training they need to become crane operators, welders, riggers, wind turbine technicians, all these things,” Tobacia said.

Trevor Tanaka

The Institute’s Sustainability Coordinator Trevor Tanaka explained the Sustainable Career Pathways portion of its Stone Soup Climate Education Curriculum, which is designed to fill a gap in the education system. “Students who see a career pathway and can project their life going forward based on their education tend to be a lot more involved in the process,” Tanaka said. “In addition to helping students see the pathways, we share with them information about the training, required skills, and starting pay for various jobs.” 

“The transition to a sustainable economy – with an estimated 10 million new jobs -- requires a disruptive model for education and for workforce development training,” said the Institute’s Founding Director, Marianne Larned. “Young people really are hungry to learn about these jobs. So we've been piloting a unique approach to connecting them with sustainability practitioners.” 

Sustainable Career Video Series

The Institute’s Sustainable Career Mentor Initiative is designed to fast-track the workforce development pipeline needed to fill all those new jobs and each Green Job Shadow Day features different industries. Last month the focus was on the agricultural sector; this month it was on renewable energy.

Walter Cronkite served as the Institute’s chairperson for over a decade. Thanks to his leadership we have produced hundreds of educational videos that inspire and educate young people to become leaders in their communities. The ​​Sustainable Career Video Series ​features sustainability practitioners from blue and green jobs in fields such as Marine Biology, Offshore Wind, Environmental Education, and Wastewater Management. They describe the paths they took to arrive at their current positions; the importance that mentors played for them in the process; the wide variety of jobs available in the burgeoning sustainable economy, and the wide range of skills needed to fill these jobs; and they encourage students to explore the range of possibilities for jobs within the field, and to seek out mentors to help them hone in on the best use of their talents, interests, and skills.

David Hutchinson

“Getting young people enthusiastic about something is not always the issue,” said David Hutchinson, Director of the Rising Stars in Boston, New York, and New Jersey. “The issue is connecting the dots between their enthusiasm, and how to navigate getting from point A to point B.”


Trevor Tanaka confirmed the level of student interest in such jobs. “We’ve seen a resounding increase in interest in certificates over the course of our programs, once students realize what these opportunities really entail,” he said.


In closing, Marianne Larned thanked all who had attended, with special thanks for our cohost Exodus, Hannah Webb, Atlantic Shores, and the New Bedford Ocean Cluster. “You understand the importance of building a better world by building partnerships with businesses and our schools,” she said. “We are of course especially grateful for the students who joined us today. The planet needs all of us now.”

The Stone Soup Leadership Institute

The Stone Soup Leadership Institute |

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