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AB 3018 California's 2008 Green Jobs Legislation

AB 3018 California's 2008 Green Jobs Legislation - California's first green jobs legislation has passed the legislatures and is awaiting the Governor's signature.

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AB 3018 (Nunez) was Introduced February 22, 2008 and is awaiting the Governor's signature at the beginning of September. This bill creates a Green Collar Jobs Council to develop a comprehensive approach to address California's emerging workforce needs associated with its growing "green" economy.

Over the last several years, much policy debate has centered around discussions of the need for "green jobs" or "green collar jobs." This attention has been particularly acute in California, which in many ways leads the nation both in terms of environmental and workforce development policies. In fact, over a dozen bills have been introduced in the Legislature this year that in some way attempt to address the issue of "green jobs."

Therefore, in order to engage in a productive policy discussion about these issues, it is important at the outset to discuss what the terms "green jobs" or "green collar jobs" are currently held to mean.

One recent report defines "green collar jobs" as follows:

"Green-collar jobs, as we define them, are well-paid, career track jobs that contribute directly to preserving or enhancing environmental quality. Like traditional blue-collar jobs, green-collar jobs range from low-skill, entry-level positions to high-skill, higher- paid jobs, and include opportunities for advancement in both skills and wages."

Another report identifies "green collar jobs" as "family-supporting jobs that contribute significantly to preserving or enhancing environmental quality. Defined more by industry than by occupation, they reside primarily in the sectors that make up the clean energy economy - efficiency, renewables, alternative transportation, and fuels."

Another study identified twenty-two sectors of the American economy that currently provide workers with green collar jobs.

Regardless of the specific definition used, many advocates agree that "green collar jobs" must provide opportunities for long-term advancement, growth and self-sufficiency. As one report notes, "Put simply, if a job improves the environment, but doesn't provide a family-supporting wage or a career ladder to move low-income workers into higher-skilled occupations, it is not a green-collar job."

Green Jobs Bill for California 2008

The bill establishes the Green Collar Jobs Council to perform specified tasks related to addressing the workforce needs that accompany California's growing green economy. Specifically, this bill :

1 Establishes a working group known as the Green Collar Jobs Council (Council) as in intergovernmental partnership.

2)Specifies that, pursuant to this working group, the Secretary of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, in consultation with representatives from the Community College Chancellor's Office, University of California Board of Regents, State Department of Education, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of Veterans Affairs, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Environmental Protection Agency, as well as energy, alternative fuels, consumer, financial, labor, environmental justice, and other groups, shall develop a comprehensive array of programs, strategies, and resources to address the workforce needs that accompany California's growing green economy.

3)Specifies that the Council shall develop the framework, funding strategies, programs and opportunities to address the growing need for a highly skilled and well-trained workforce to meet the needs of California's emerging green economy.

4)Requires the Council to do all of the following:

a) Assist in identifying and linking green collar job opportunities with workforce development training opportunities in the various regions of the state.

b) Create public, private, and nongovernmental partnerships to build and expand the state's workforce development programs, network, and infrastructure.

c) Establish job training programs in the clean and green technology sectors to assist and prepare specific populations, such as at-risk youth, displaced workers, veterans, formerly incarcerated individuals, and others facing barriers to employment.

d) Develop statewide and regional labor market data on California's new and emerging green industries workforce needs, trends, and job growth.

5)Makes related legislative findings and declarations.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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