While “green jobs” aren’t in high demand at the moment, many agree that in the years to come, the United States will be seeing a lot more of them.
From the article ‘‘Hype Aside, ‘Green Jobs’ Are for Real’’ by Rob Reuteman, Reuteman states that “29 states have already ordered utilities to produce 30% of their power through renewable energy in the next couple of decades.” What is even more surprising is that “the federal economic stimulus plan earmarked more than $70 billion in direct spending, tax breaks and loan guarantees for the nation’s energy economy, most of it for “green” energy.”
Even schools are starting to develop programs for “green” job training. In fact, more than $500 million dollars in stimulus money for education is targeted for just that. Reuteman noted a few colleges in his article that have already started their green energy programs. “Columbia Gorge Community College in Oregon launched a training course for wind energy technicians in 2006 and boasted a 92 percent placement rate, with graduates earning up to $24 an hour.” St. Philip’s Community College in the San Antonio now offers an associate degree in alternative energy and Lane Community College, in Eugene, Oregon is beginning a trial program that allows students to earn energy management degrees in fewer academic terms.
A report prepared for the U.S. Mayors Conference estimates a potential for 4.2 million new green jobs over the next 30 years. But, what exactly is a green job? In Reuteman’s article, he states that “The Bureau of Labor Statistics is gathering employment data on some 330 job classifications that range from a solar panel installers to a secretary at a recycling plant.” Of these jobs, Reuteman classified the Solar and Wind industries to be the one of the largest growing industries for green jobs. “Out of 2,500 Solar employers, it has been concluded that the industry now accounts for 93,000 direct solar jobs and more than half of those employers that were surveyed said they’ll hire during the coming year, to the tune of 24,000 new job, a 26-percent increase.”