Green Jobs Act

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The Green Jobs Act replaces the old debate of "jobs vs. the environment" by investing in "jobs for the environment." The new energy economy had been facing workforce shortages as one of the top barriers. To help alleviate the skills shortage which hinders the growth of the clean energy sector, the American Green Jobs Act 2007 creates a pilot program to train workers in the new skills required for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that are vital to the U.S. and world efforts to combat global warming. The Green Jobs Act, passed as part of the Energy Bill, commits the federal government to funding of up to $125 million towards job training for 35,000 people a year to work in eco-friendly fields.

High-Quality Training

The programs are being developed to ensure high-quality training for both high-wage and low-income workers so that everyone has a chance to contribute in this new growth sector. The United States will need hundreds of thousands of "green-collar workers” in its effort to beat global warming and meet the energy challenges of the future. These newly trained workers will be required to install millions of solar panels, weatherize homes and other buildings, create a sufficient quantity of bio-fuels, build and maintain wind-farms and much, much more.

As long as they are given access to effective training programs and appropriate support, most of these are middle-skill jobs requiring more than high school, but less than a college degree. See B.E.S.T. Free Green Collar Job Training

The Green Economy Bigger that the Biggest

In the US, the “green economy” is exploding into a billion-dollar industry. A 2006 study by Management Information Systems, Inc., has estimated that the environmental sector of the economy is bigger than the biggest Fortune 500 company. It creates three times more jobs than the chemical industry, six times more jobs than the apparel industry, and 10 times more jobs than the pharmaceutical industry.

The new jobs created for the green sector will be for environmentally-friendly products or services such as construction of green schools, solar panel manufacturing, energy efficiency retrofits of homes, and environmental clean up and waterfront restoration. These are the types of jobs which will lift people out of poverty and create healthier cities and better neighborhoods for families. Visit Treehugger’s Job Board for green job opportunities.

Examples of Green Jobs

  • Jobs in sewage treatment plants, renewable energy systems, and waste reduction facilities;
  • Jobs through public investment in bike paths, public transit, commuter and inter-urban rail systems
  • Retrofits of public, commercial, and private buildings to reduce water and energy use
  • "Natural production cycle" jobs such as growing industrial hemp and the use of vegetable inks and cutting fluids
  • Jobs in sustainable agriculture

‘Green Pathways Out of Poverty’

Under the Act, this implies job training for low-income people in fields like solar power installation and green roofing.

The objective is to break the perception that the environment is an elitist concern by allowing the weakest members of society to be on the front lines of the environmental movement. The new law authorizes 20 percent of the Green Jobs Act funds to be allocated to the training of this sector, which includes youth and adults who do not have a high school degree, have been out of the labor market for a long time, were formally incarcerated, and/or have limited labor market skills. Visit Green Deals Daily for environmental job listing sites

The Green Job Market

Green careers promoting environmental responsibility are likely become mainstream, almost like the Internet boom, within a decade, according to some analysts. It will not only create jobs but will also significantly impact the overall economy.

Cleantech Network, a venture capital firm for green business, in a recent study showed that up to half a million new jobs, at every income level, from chief sustainability officer to "green" maintenance supervisor, in ecologically responsible trades, will be on offer in the next three years. See Search now. Get hired. Some such jobs are:

Green product designer – For designing products that will use less energy and raw materials to produce and consume less energy and resources to use.

Energy rating auditor – for performing energy efficiency analysis. Will need to coordinate management of organization's environmental performance to protect and conserve natural resources.

Biological systems engineer – To design and develop systems and equipment which would produce, package, process, and distribute the world's food and fiber supplies.

Permaculture specialist -- For land use and community building analysis. Would help create a harmonious blend of buildings, microclimate, plants, animals, soils, and water.

Urban arborist -- a landscaper who understands conservation and renewable resources.


  • Green Jobs
  • Federal Funding for "Green Pathways Out of Poverty"
  • Green collar jobs poised for growth