Saturday, August 16, 2008

Wanted: Green Jobs

Imagine getting the pink slip from your employer. Not the greatest feeling in the world, especially during today’s down economy. But we have to work. We must put food on the table. We must consume in order to keep this economy going, right? With consumer confidence in the trenches based on indications from the Conference Board, what job options do we have during a recession?

When it comes to renewable energy, some of us see hope, a possibility, a progressive future, and others see dollar signs and big profits for a field that is expected to explode with new jobs. The Apollo Institute estimates that three million new jobs will emerge in the next ten years due to environmental changes and technology advancements. Yet, the Energy and Resource team at University of California Berkley believes the estimate is closer to one million jobs.

Let’s not argue over the number. Better yet, let’s take a look at what these “green jobs” really are for today’s employees that are hunting and working closely with their recruiters.

1) You can’t outsource me: Construction
Whether you are installing solar panels, or helping to construct LEED certified buildings and homes, construction jobs cannot be outsourced. These are ideal in today’s economy and right up the green alley.

2) Welcome: Travel, Spas and Hotels
Eco-tourism is the buzzword that many travelers understand who are looking for ways to minimize their carbon footprint. When selecting flights, travelers can offset their carbon emissions by paying a bit more on their flight, in which contributions carry over to the corporation’s sustainable travel trade fund. Even better, travelers are renting hybrid vehicles and choosing
spas and hotels with green services (e.g. low flow showerheads, organic dining, cleaning services that use biodegradable products, etc.) Don’t worry your customer service and bartending skills are still in high demand at these locations.
3) What's in your green wallet? Investing and banking
There is definitely an increase in eco-banking, carbon traders, and green investors. These guys and gals are viewed as subject matter experts who are helping folks like you and me with green mortgages, tax rebates, green loyalty-points programs, and green profits. They are in tune with the market and learning how regulations are making an impact on your wallet.

Certainly, there are many other jobs and opportunities available in different green industries; however, if that is not enough to convince you, then consider the details of the Green Jobs Act of 2007.

Green Jobs Act of 2007 (H.R. 2847), introduced by Reps. Hilda Solis (D-CA) and John Tierney (D-MA), authorizes up to $125 million in funding to establish national and state job training programs, administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, to help address job shortages that are impairing growth in green industries, such as energy efficient buildings and construction, renewable electric power, energy efficient vehicles, and biofuels development.

It's never too late to enhance your sustaino skills or use your existing skills to help our green economy.

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