KCC Counselor Academy July 13, 2009. Sustainability & Green Jobs. Questions. What does sustainability mean? What are green jobs? What is Hawaii doing in the area of sustainability and green jobs? How can community college help students examine alternative career options?
What does sustainability mean?
What are green jobs?
What is Hawaii doing in the area of sustainability and green jobs?
How can community college help students examine alternative career options?
What are the skills needed by 21st century workers?
What can the counselors/advisors do to promote green jobs?
An economy that “generates jobs, businesses, and investments
while expanding clean energy production, increasing energy efficiency,
reducing greenhouse gas emissions, waste
and conserving water and other natural resources.”
Pew Charitable Trust Research
No standard definition, but generally they
are jobs that:
Reduce energy usage and lower carbon emissions
Minimize waste and pollution
Protect ecosystems and wildlife
“contribute significantly to preserving or restoring environmental quality and…help to protect ecosystems and biodiversity, reduce energy, materials and water consumption through high-efficiency strategies, de-carbonize the economy, and minimize or avoid the production of waste and pollution.”
“Green jobs are well-paid, career track jobs that contribute directly to preserving or enhancing environmental quality.
...(they) range from low-skill, entry level positions to high-skill, higher paid jobs, and include opportunities for advancement in both skills and wages.”
Apollo Alliance & Green For All
By that definition:
If a job improves the environment but doesn’t provide a family-supporting wage or career ladder to move low-income workers into higher-skilled occupations, it is not a green job.
Green jobs lead to a double bottom line: as those that:
Green jobs tend to be local because many involve work transforming and upgrading existing structures/infrastructure and the natural environment – work such as retrofitting buildings, installing solar panels, constructing transit lines, and landscaping.
They are in construction, manufacturing, installation, maintenance, agriculture, and other sectors of the economy.
The energy efficient building, construction, and retrofit industries
The renewable electric power industry
The biofuels industry
The deconstruction and materials use industries
The energy efficiency assessment industry
The energy efficient and advanced drive train vehicle industry
Manufacturing that produces sustainable products using environmentally sustainable processes and materials
Energy efficiency and conservation
Renewable and sustainable energy
Green designer & architect
Skilled energy-efficient construction trade worker (carpenter, plumber, electrician)
Resource conservation/efficiency manager
Energy and air quality control auditor
HVAC operation and maintenance technician
65% of today’s clean energy jobs are in the category of conservation and pollution mitigation
Alternative fuels and transportation
Renewable energy is the fastest growing tech market segment in Hawaii with an annual growth rate of 8.7% in the private sector, compared with a 5.8% nationally
Though the renewable energy sector is expected to grow in the next 20 years,
the energy efficiency sector dominates today & will continue to dominate through 2030.
Although there will be a growing number of new energy efficiency occupations requiring new knowledge, skills and abilities, it is expected that the majority will betransformed from existing jobs,requiring a redefinition of skill sets, methods, and occupational profiles.
Many jobs that are currently in demand are “middle-skilled” jobs that require more than a high school diploma and less than a 4 year degree.
Similarly, as new career pathways are developed specific to renewable energy, the majority of ‘career ladders’ will be built into traditional career pathways.
Some emerging occupations will require the creation of new industry-recognized credentials and training programs, many will only require modifications to existing programs and courses to integrate green skills – adding a ‘green’ layer to the curriculum.
…this means less focus on new courses of study and more emphasis on embedding green curricula into existing courses of study.
Don’t train for jobs
that don’t exist!
Non-credit programs and courses
Comprehensive support services
Non-credit education makes up a significant part of community college activity.
43% of the nation’s community college students were enrolled in non-credit education in 2008 (American Assoc of Community Colleges)
Workforce training is becoming an increasingly large component of non-credit education.
Advantages: short terms, flexible course design, rapid responsiveness to local labor market trends
Students who may otherwise never consider postsecondary education may be able to transition from workforce training to a college degree allowing them to enter the workforce at higher wage levels, with greater long term career potential.
One of the key strategies to increasing access to higher learning for low-skilled adults is to provide comprehensive supports:
Case management services
Integrated soft skills training
Contextualized basic skills training
Hard skills training in targeted green industry
Supportive infrastructure: childcare, transportation, tool/equipment purchase
Connections to pre-apprenticeship programs
Transitional jobs to establish a work history
Career counseling and assistance securing employment
Long-term tracking and follow up
How does all this affect what you tell your students?
Spurring the creation of green jobs in our community means more than creating short-term work on individual projects. It means building a sustainable economy.
And it has to be collaborative.
“So who will do the hard and noble work of actually building the green economy? The answer: millions of ordinary people, many of whom do not have good jobs right now.
…the major barriers to a more rapid adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency are not financial, legal, technical, or ideological. One big problem is simply that green employers can’t find enough trained, green-collar workers to do all the jobs.” Van Jones