VIEWS: 15 PAGES: 25 POSTED ON: 5/9/2011
Blue Collar Jobs, White Collar Jobs … Green Collar Jobs? Jo Kahn, - Coordinator of Career and Employment Information Services CareerTech On the covers of magazines In newspapers On the web In the coffee shop The words “green”, “green-collar jobs” or just “green jobs.” Today’s Job Market Blue collar, White collar and Green collar? What is green-collar? What makes it different from blue- or white-collar? And where will those jobs come from? Who are “blue collar” workers? Blue Collar Employment • Job involves manual labor • A member of the working class • Earns an hourly wage • May be skilled or unskilled • Works in manufacturing, mining, building and construction trades, mechanical work, maintenance, repair and operations maintenance, Who are “white collar” workers? White Collar Employment • Salaried professionals and clerical workers • Educated workers who performs semi- professional office, administrative, and sales coordination tasks. • Workers who commonly work in well- kept air conditioned office buildings •Perform non-manual labor often in an office • Service industry worker-customer interaction, entertainment, retail and outside sales Who then, are the “green collar” workers? Let’s see if we know where jobs fit in to white, blue and green What are green collar jobs? ―Green collar‖ jobs are ―blue collar‖ jobs in green businesses – that is, manual labor jobs in businesses whose products and services directly improve environmental quality. Many ―green collar‖ jobs are middle skill jobs requiring more education than high school but less than a four year degree. Other ―green collar‖ jobs are ―white collar‖ jobs in green businesses. What makes them green? “Green” relates to a job’s purpose • Jobs that conserve energy, expand renewable energy sources, conserve or improve the environment • 40% of green jobs expected in making buildings energy efficient Construction – building retrofit, HVAC. mass transit, Infrastructure development, e.g. “smart grid,” And in manufacturing – wind turbines, solar panels, auto batteries, weatherization materials What makes them green? "It has to pay decent wages and benefits that can support a family. It has to be part of a real career path, with upward mobility. And it needs to reduce waste and pollution and benefit the environment." Phil Angelides CA What makes investing in green jobs good for the US? What makes them good jobs? ―Green-collar jobs tend to be local because many involve work transforming and upgrading the immediate built and natural environment— work such as retrofitting buildings, installing solar panels, installing and maintaining wind turbines, constructing transit lines, and landscaping. Unlike white collar jobs that are moving overseas at an alarming rate, these jobs can’t be outsourced overseas. Where are these jobs? Green collar jobs are located in large and small for-profit businesses, non-profits, social enterprises, and in the public sector. They are relatively high quality jobs with relatively low barriers to entry, in sectors poised for dramatic growth. According to Raquel Pinderhughes, PhD (2007) Green Building: Jobs of the Future So What Do We Know? RENEWABLE POWER GENERATION WIND SOLAR HYDROPOWER GEOTHERMAL BIOMASS ENERGY EFFICIENCY RENEWABLE TRANSPORT FUELS RESIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL ETHANOL BIODIESEL RETROFITS RETROFITS In 2006, the U.S. economy had about 750,000 green jobs RENEWABLE POWER GENERATION 127,246 AGRICULTURE & FORESTRY 57,546 CONSTRUCTION & SYSTEMS INSTALLATION 8,741 MANUFACTURING 60,699 EQUIPMENT DEALERS & WHOLESALERS 6,205 ENGINEERING, LEGAL, RESEARCH, & CONSULTING 418,715 GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION 71,900 TOTAL 751,051 By 2038, more than 4.2 million green jobs will be created by the economy— a five-fold increase 2018 2028 2038 RENEWABLE POWER 407,200 802,000 1,236,800 GENERATION RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL 81,000 81,000 81,000 RETROFITTING RENEWABLE 1,205,700 1,437,700 1,492,000 TRANSPORTATION FUELS ENGINEERING, LEGAL, 846,900 1,160,300 1,404,900 RESEARCH, & CONSULTING TOTAL 2,540,800 3,481,000 4,214,700 4.2 million green jobs forecast is based on achieving three goals by 2038 40% 35% 30% of reduction of electricity in energy gas/diesel from use demand alternative (residential and replaced by commercial sources buildings) ethanol/ biodiesel What skills are needed? Traditional skills with added 21st century technical updating and thinking “green,” understanding more environmental technologies, and learning how we can manufacture, install and maintain them. Green Industries include… • Energy efficiency and renewable energy industries • The energy-efficient building, construction, and retrofit industries • The renewable electric power industry • The energy efficient and advanced drive train vehicle industry • The biofuels industry • The deconstruction and materials use industries • The energy efficiency assessment industry serving the residential, commercial, or industrial sectors • Manufacturers that produce sustainable products using environmentally sustainable processes and materials. Career Pathways Green careers are a high-demand job track for students from a wide range of academic disciplines and with a wide variety of interests. Green jobs exist, and are growing, in a range of industries and at every skill and wage level. By becoming stewards of our environment, young people who choose a green career can help solve the greatest problems of our time while finding work that matches their personal interests and values. Career Pathways 1. Bicycle repair and bike delivery services 2. Car and truck mechanic jobs, production jobs, and gas-station jobs related to bio-diesel, vegetable oil and other alternative fuels 3. Food production using organic and/or sustainable grown agricultural products 4. Green building 5. Green waste composting on a large scale 6. Hauling and reuse of construction and demolition materials and debris 7. Hazardous materials clean up 8. Green (sustainable) landscaping 9. Manufacturing jobs related to large scale production of a wide range of technologies (i.e. solar panels, bike cargo systems, green waste bins, etc.) ---excerpt from Pinderhughes (2007) Career Pathways 10. Materials reuse/producing products made from recycled, non-toxic materials 11. Non-toxic household cleaning in residential and commercial buildings 12. Parks and open space maintenance and expansion 13. Printing with non-toxic inks and dyes and recycled papers 14. Public transit jobs 15. Recycling 16. Solar installation and maintenance 17. Tree cutting and pruning 18. Urban agriculture 19. Whole home performance (i.e: HVAC, attic insulation, weatherization, etc.) ---excerpt from Pinderhughes (2007) Challenges to “green job” success The major challenges to a more rapid adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency in America are a shortage of skills and training in our workforce. This labor shortage is only likely to get more severe as baby-boomers skilled in current energy technologies retire. What Can We Do Today to Insure a Better Future For Job Seekers?
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