In Washington, democrats and republicans alike are promising to create millions of new green collar jobs. From a political point of view, green jobs sound great- taking care of the environment while promoting a new sector of industry and employment. The potential for green jobs, according to different academic research claims, can create up to 5 million new jobs by 2025. This is all very promising, but what exactly are green collar jobs, and are they that different from blue collar jobs? Another important question is where will all those jobs come from?
In an interview with Phil Angelides, chair of the Apollo Alliance, given to “Times online”, he defined a green job as one that “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.” So according to this definition, employees of wind turbine or solar panel companies are a perfect mach. But is it possible to refer to any job that relates to clean energy solutions as a green job? Are jobs in the public transit sector, green building, and energy efficiency providers considered green collar as well? The Department of Labor released a draft description of green jobs that divides them into two categories: jobs that produce green goods and services; and jobs that use green processes.
More and more sectors are becoming greener and more sustainable. That is why there’s a growing demand for a green collar workforce. An even greater demand for green jobs depends on government policies to give more incentives to environmentally friendly actions. Looking at green jobs from this perspective, it appears that blue collar workers will eventually become green collar, as green jobs will become more and more popular.
Green jobs in San Diego
San Diego is considered a leader in the green job revolution. San Diego’s status as a leading city in the green world can be related to the city’s great research institutions, the clear, sunny weather and even to the entrepreneurial culture of the people living in the area.
As for the future, the more green legislation, the bigger the chance that more businesses and organizations will embrace clean technologies, thus increasing the green job industry in the region.
Realizing the potential for green jobs will demand a comprehensive set of programs and policies to guide us into a clean-energy economy that ensures prosperity for all. To learn more about the potential of green jobs see Green-Collar Jobs: Realizing the Promise, which offers guidance to policymakers and advocates opportunities to seize green jobs.