How Boomers Can Help the Nation Go Green

Climate change threatens our future. Rising global temperatures, the byproduct of industrialization, are on course to disrupt food supply, increase heat-related deaths and erase wetlands. The challenges to reverse or lessen the impact of decades of abuse to our planet require talent backed by years of experience.

The aging of the boomer generation is converging with a growing urgency around efforts to reduce energy use and carbon production. In recent years, there has been large public and private investment in training workers for "green-collar" jobs that aim to benefit the environment. Despite the recession, the green economy is creating new jobs, an early indicator of the shape of the labor market as other sectors of the economy recover. At the same time, various sectors -- green and otherwise -- are set to experience labor shortages that could severely limit progress.

Green jobs are a natural fit for many boomers seeking encore careers, work in the second half of life that benefits society. Many skills from other fields easily transfer to the green economy, such as construction and maintenance; finance and planning; marketing and information technology; and engineering and entrepreneurship.

This paper focuses on eight emerging encore career opportunities in the green economy. They are: weatherization installers and crew leaders; energy auditors; solar contractors; solar installation trainers; outreach workers; and cotants and advocates.