Sunday, December 16, 2007

Green-Collar Jobs Are Good Jobs

Green Collar Jobs: An Analysis of the Capacity of Green Businesses to Provide High Quality Jobs for Men and Women with Barriers to Employment is a report from the City of Berkeley’s Office of Energy and Sustainable Development and is authored by Professor Raquel Rivera Pinderhughes of San Francisco State University. The report identifies 22 sectors of the U.S. economy currently providing green collar employment and states that "placing job ready workers with barriers to employment in green collar jobs can be an effective way to provide low income people with access to good jobs that can lift these individuals and their families out of poverty."

Green collar jobs are expected to grow (Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency: Economic Drivers for the 21st Century predicts over 40 million green industry jobs by 2030; a four-fold increase in growth from 2006), yet Pinderhughes' report finds that "most firms are not adequately prepared to address the work force development issues that will accompany rapid growth. Seventy-three percent of the business owners/managers surveyed stated that there was a shortage of qualified green collar workers for their sector, with the greatest needs in energy, green building, mechanics, and bike repair."

You can read the executive summary here and the full report here.

Pinderhughes is a partner in the Green Jobs Campaign of the Ella Baker Center, founded by Van Jones. Jones was recently highlighted in the NY Times and TIME Magazine for his vision that the green collar job movement could help combat poverty in the U.S.

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