Strategies and Tips for Creating Green Jobs Unveiled in New Report

Strategies and Tips for Creating Green Jobs Unveiled in New Report

Although the federal government is still spending billions on clean technology and energy efficiency projects, the green-collar jobs movement has lost some of its prominence over the summer, as much of the media and the nation has focused its attention instead on healthcare reform and other political issues.

But the authors of a new report are focusing the spotlight on the benefits to workers, businesses and the environment from these projects. Alan Durning and Jennifer Langston, along with their colleagues at the Sightline Institute, published yesterday "Green-Collar Jobs: Realizing the Promise," an in-depth look at how the Pacific Northwest can continue to benefit from energy efficiency projects -- and how those successes can apply anywhere in the country.

Large-scale public investments in the clean-energy economy -- one based on renewables and energy efficiency -- have ushered in what should be a swift and irrevocable transition away from fossil fuels," the authors write. "But the transition is not assured: it may still get tangled in a set of persistent and stubborn market failures, institutional blockages, and information barriers. These obstacles have thwarted progress on energy efficiency for decades. What's needed is a set of practical solutions to these problems."

The report goes into great detail in looking at how green-collar jobs can improve the economy as well as the environment; the chart below shows how investments in clean energy yields two to seven times as many jobs in various skill- and pay-levels than the same investments in fossil fuel-based industries.


A key plank in any green-collar job program involves improving business and residential building energy efficiency; not only do those projects stimulate spending for green building products, but also for skilled workers to implement those changes. The report offers a series of strategies for developing successful building energy efficiency programs:

1. Use smart marketing to educate property owners about energy efficiency.
2. Assemble partnerships; link organizations with shared interests.
3. Measure building energy use through audits and ratings systems.
4. Connect building owners with trusted contractors.
5. Create an "energy concierge" to guide property owners through the process.
6. Teach people to take advantage of their retrofits.

The full report, "Green-Collar Jobs: Realizing the Promise," is available for download from Sightline.org. And seem more actual green jobs listings on GreenBiz.com.