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Eco-jobs are the New Jobs of Today...and Tomorrow

Eco-jobs or green-collar jobs are a new challenge for green companies who need trained installers, maintenance and design employees.

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Green Collar Jobs and Eco-jobs

Green collar jobs, or eco-jobs are vocational jobs in an ecologically responsible trade, for instance: installing solar panels, weatherizing buildings, constructing and maintaining wind farms, materials re-use and recycling, doing organic agriculture, etc.

The approach will help a growing industry expand as well as creating skilled jobs, said Congresswoman Hilda Solis as she addressed the select committee.

Clean Energy Jobs

The shift from dirty energy sources (like oil and coal) toward cleaner energy sources (like solar, wind and plant-based fuel) will produce hundreds of thousands of new jobs. The work of retrofitting millions of buildings (so that they conserve energy) will produce still more jobs. And all of these jobs will be, by definition, impossible to outsource to other countries.

"The City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board, the Community Development Department, and the Department of Water and Power studied which areas of the economy could provide opportunities for high quality jobs. They found the solar, wind and biomass sectors are great opportunities for employment," she said.

Rio Hondo College Alternative Fuels Technology Training Program

Some businesses and educational institutions have already seized on those opportunities, she added, giving the example of an alternative fuels technology training program ran by Rio Hondo College in partnership with Honda Motors, John Deere and the Robert Bosch Corporation.

Government-funded education and job training

Most countries work hard to nurture their growing industries. Their elected leaders see government-funded education and job training as one of the most basic ways to support them, especially when . Dumping 100 percent of the worker-training costs onto a nascent industry is one sure way to kill it in the cradle. In fact, many eco-entrepreneurs fear that their growth will be constrained by a "green collar" labor shortage -- unless there is a major increase in the quantity and quality of vocational job training.

Solar, Wind and Biomass Sectors are great opportunities for employment

"The City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board, the Community Development Department, and the Department of Water and Power studied which areas of the economy could provide opportunities for high quality jobs. They found the solar, wind and biomass sectors are great opportunities for employment. I am pleased that our witnesses today can attest to the impacts these programs have on workers and the role of the federal government.

One in Ten Workers Seek Employee Training

"More than 13 million workers this year (one in 10 workers nationally) will seek assistance from an employee training program. This training can lead to self-sufficiency and prosperity through higher wages, access to benefits and more career choices. Programs which link green job training to underserved communities in both rural and urban communities present a golden opportunity to advance not only the energy security of our nation, but also the economic security of our families."

For more information on Congresswoman Hilda Solis' initiatives, see ,a href="http://www.house.gov/solis">www.house.gov/solis.



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