KCC Counselor AcademyJuly 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 are the skills needed by 21st century workers? What can the counselors/advisors do to promote green jobs?
Qualifiers: • The “sustainable,” “green jobs” economy is in it’s infancy. • It’s happening with such speed that staying up-to-date is difficult. • It’s happening during an unprecedented economic downturn. • Experts are still trying to put it all into language that can be easily understood.
Qualifiers • As community colleges seek to identify opportunities in the green sector, gathering specific and accurate labor market information about the green jobs in demand is critical and challenging. • Much of the data is not easily obtained because the factors that drive them are in flux. • Some of these jobs aren’t even in the SOC
Sustainability is an overarching term that refers to: An economy that “generates jobs, businesses, and investments while expanding clean energy production, increasing energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, waste and pollution, and conserving water and other natural resources.” Pew Charitable Trust Research
What are green jobs? No standard definition, but generally they are jobs that: Reduce energy usage and lower carbon emissions Minimize waste and pollution Protect ecosystems and wildlife
The United Nations Environment Programme defines green jobs as those that: “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.”
Workforce development advocates use this definition: “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
Important note 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: economic growth and environmental sustainability
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 USDOL categorizes them into seven sub-sectors: 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
Two sectors of green jobs Energy efficiency and conservation Renewable and sustainable energy
Energy Efficiency jobs Systems technician 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
Energy Efficiency Jobs 65% of today’s clean energy jobs are in the category of conservation and pollution mitigation
Renewable Energy jobs Solar energy Wind power Geothermal Alternative fuels and transportation
Renewable energy 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.
Important note 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. (handout)
So where are the jobs in Hawaii? • STEM occupations accounted for about 58,442 jobs in Hawaii in 2007 – many in tech companies but most were in traditional industries. • Expected annual demand for tech jobs: 1650. • 77% of those will require post sec ed and 17% more will require at least one year on-the-job training & work experience. (handout)
From a community college perspective… 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.
From a workforce development perspective …this means less focus on new courses of study and more emphasis on embedding green curricula into existing courses of study.
VERY important note: Don’t train for jobs that don’t exist!
2 other things… Non-credit programs and courses Comprehensive support services
Role of non-credit 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.
Support services One of the key strategies to increasing access to higher learning for low-skilled adults is to provide comprehensive supports:
Comprehensive Support Services Outreach/recruitment Case management services Integrated soft skills training Contextualized basic skills training Hard skills training in targeted green industry Employer-recognized certification Supportive infrastructure: childcare, transportation, tool/equipment purchase Stipends Connections to pre-apprenticeship programs Transitional jobs to establish a work history Career counseling and assistance securing employment Long-term tracking and follow up
From a counseling perspective… How does all this affect what you tell your students?
In sum… 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.
The new green economy “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