A few days ago, I was having dinner with a friend who works at Big Oil and we were discussing the real impact that green jobs will have on the Latino community.
“When you look at it,” he said, “putting solar panels on buildings is not going to generate as many jobs as they are saying. I’m afraid many of these “green jobs” may turn out to be a fiasco like Ethanol which ended up costing jobs, driving up food prices and bad for the environment. I want to know what the real green jobs are.”
Yes, I know his looking at it from Big Oil’s angle, but he has a point. The expression “green jobs” encompasses such a wide range of industries and activities that it is becoming a “catch all” bucket. Unavoidably, people will call “green” lots of jobs that are far from being even moderately so, but calling them “green” will attract investment. So, it is obviously the fashionable thing to do.
But I also think that, eventually, we will figure out where the real deals are. My friend was suggesting that instead of calling jobs “green” we might as well call them what they are: jobs in reconstruction of infrastructure, expansion of highways, fixing our bridges, etc., and get the economy moving.
The key here is that as you look at reinventing yourself for the workforce, you look at opportunities that are real and long term and not that are here today and gone tomorrow like some of those so-called green jobs could be.
Here are some areas to explore and that may receive an influx of money from the incentive package coming down from Washington some time in the near future:
As more community colleges and colleges expand their offerings to prepare the workforce for green jobs, you’ll see a lot more options to “retrofit” your own education to fit the market.
Check these sites for info on jobs: www.greenjobs.com, www.sustainablebusiness.com, www.ecobusinesslinks.com