Report: US Workers Ready for Green Economy

John Davis

A new report says millions of workers in the U.S. will benefit from a green economy… and many workers already have the skills to make the jump to clean energy jobs.

The National Resources Defense Council, a coalition of environmental organizations, has released a report titled “Job Opportunities for the Green Economy.” The paper, put together by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, takes a look at the potential of green jobs in 12 key states. This press release from the NRDC says the state-by-state report looks at existing jobs skills and how those skills will translate into clean energy jobs:

“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,” said Dan Lashof, director of NRDC’s Climate Center. “We’re talking about jobs at every skill level from construction to research, already available here at home.”

Hundreds of thousands of workers in the U.S. already possess the vast majority of skills and occupations necessary to reduce global warming and make the shift to a clean energy economy. For instance, constructing wind farms creates jobs for sheet metal workers, machinists and truck drivers, among many others. Increasing the energy efficiency of buildings through retrofitting relies on roofers, insulators and electricians, to name a few.

“Everyone is talking about how the transition to a clean energy future will create millions of new ‘green-collar’ jobs,” said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club. “This report shows that millions of Americans are already working in exactly the kinds of jobs we’ll need to build that clean energy future. Those millions and millions more—from steelworkers to software engineers—stand to benefit from implementing the clean energy solutions we need to fight global warming.”

The report breaks down the clean energy climates of 12 states: Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The full text of the report is available here.