Green Jobs Industry in the 21st Century
In December of 2007, Congress passed a $125 million green collar jobs program. The Green Jobs Act would invest $125 million in green-collar job training programs, and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, which would authorize grants to local communities to help improve their energy efficiency and increase renewable energy.
They are now before Congress, waiting to be enacted into federal policies. (Data taken from sightline.org article on Green Jobs)
Colleges and universities are joining the green revolution. Along with greening their campuses with sustainable buildings, better recycling and waste management programs, and a dedication to the conservation of wilderness areas and arboretums, colleges and universities are incorporating green studies into their curriculum. Many schools across the country now have renewable energy programs, solar energy laboratories, sustainable agriculture green chemistry studies, sustainable architecture programs, and ecotourism programs, to name a few.
Across every industry, new job possibilities are emerging for those with the skills ranging from farming to finance, and engineering to ecology. Corporations who once shied away from culpability for their role in creating hazardous wastes and harming the environment are now becoming more “green” conscious. The best thing about the green industry is that many workers – engineers, lab technicians, installation professionals, analysts, scientists – are finding that it is as easy as transitioning from one industry to the next.
Most training is done on-site in the green industry.
With the overwhelming attention paid to the deteriorating environment, and with new government regulations and policies, the Green Jobs industry is burgeoning in the U.S. In a 2007 U.N. reported in preliminary findings that the U.S. environmental industry in 2005 produced more than 5.3 million jobs (ten times the number in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry). According to the American Solar Energy Society, there are 8.5 million jobs in renewable energy or energy-efficient industries. And, according to the Apollo Alliance (a coalition of environmental groups, politicians, and labor unions dedicated to leading the US economy into a renewable energy based economy) there will be 3 to 5 million more green jobs by 2018.