Building Trades Among Those That Stand to Gain from Green Industries
June 2008 - Design & Construction
Workers at every skill level will be in high demand and enjoy greater job security in key industries essential to building a clean-energy economy in America and fighting global warming, according to a new report by a coalition of conservation and labor groups.
Hundreds of thousands of workers in the U.S. already possess the majority of skills and occupations necessary to reduce global warming and make the shift to a clean energy economy, according to the report. For instance, increasing the energy efficiency of buildings through retrofitting relies on roofers, insulators and electricians, to name a few. Constructing wind farms creates jobs for sheet metal workers, machinists and truck drivers, among many others.
"Achieving a clean energy economy through green industries like wind and solar are just part of the story. This report is also about job security. Making homes and offices more energy efficient not only saves money and energy, but also represents growth opportunities for workers who build our communities and keep them running," says Dan Lashof, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Climate Center.
The report takes a state-by-state look at existing jobs skills across a wide range of occupations and income levels that would benefit from America’s transition towards a clean energy economy. The report quantifies the number of workers who can apply their skills to six categories of green industries – building retrofitting, mass transit, fuel-efficient automobiles, wind power, solar power, and cellulosic biomass fuels.
"Job Opportunities for the Green Economy" studies employment conditions in 12 states – Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. While the report focuses on specific states, it shows that the vast majority of green jobs are in the same areas of employment that people already work in today, in every region and state of the country.