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Report identifies opportunities to retrain Ohio workers for green careers

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The Apollo Alliance and Policy Matters Ohio has released a joint report that identifies components of Ohio’s workforce development infrastructure that can be better integrated and scaled up to help fill jobs in the clean energy sector, which have grown at more than twice the rate of overall jobs.

 

The report, Mapping Green Career Pathways: Job Training Opportunities and

Infrastructure in Ohio, recommends strengthening Ohio’s existing training

infrastructure to build workers’ skills to fill green-collar jobs.

 

These jobs are in construction and manufacturing, sectors that are projected

to account for 55 percent of all new jobs in the emerging renewable energy

and efficiency industries. Overall employment in construction and manufacturing declined sharply over the past decade and has been hard hit by the current economic downturn. Ohio has lost more than 106,000 manufacturing jobs and 31,000 construction jobs in the last year alone.

 

"The demand for clean energy workers is real and will only grow as federal, regional and state climate and energy policies move forward,” said Elena Foshay, research associate for the Apollo Alliance and a co-author of the

report. “However, for Ohio to take full advantage of this job creation potential, it will need workers whose skills match the needs of the employers and industries of the clean energy economy.”

 

Mapping Green Career Pathways identifies existing training programs that

represent key elements of an integrated green workforce development system.

According to the report, many of the elements of a green training infrastructure already exist in Ohio, but there are still gaps along the green career pathway that must be filled through stronger, more integrated training programs. To meet the growing demand for workers in the clean energy economy, the report proposes a series of policy recommendations that include: 

* Filling in gaps by investing in existing programs, such as high school

career-technical education and pre-apprenticeship training, rather than

investing in new and sometimes unnecessary programs.

* Breaking down silos and better integrating environmental, economic and

workforce goals at the federal, state and local levels, so that investments

in new training programs are driven by actual job growth.

* Conditioning federal, state and local training grants and department of

development funds on interagency collaboration, and prioritizing

partnerships between training providers, unions, employers and Workforce

Investment Boards. 

* Investing in career pathway models that emphasize flexibility so workers can

easily move in and out of classroom-based training and employment.

“What’s most important in Ohio is to develop green career pathways that help

job seekers move from entry-level work into higher-paid, more specialized

positions,” said Piet van Lier, researcher at Policy Matters and report

co-author. “Every step along the pathway should be designed to prepare

students for the next level of both employment and training.”

 For more information, go to www.policymattersohio.org

<http://www.policymattersohio.org/GreenCareers2010.htm> .

 

The Apollo Alliance is a coalition of unlikely and diverse interests –

including labor, business, environmental, and community leaders – advancing

a bold vision for the next American economy centered on clean energy and

good jobs.

 

Policy Matters Ohio, www.policymattersohio.org

<http://www.policymattersohio.org> , is a nonprofit policy research

organization founded in January 2000 to broaden the debate about economic

policy in Ohio. Our mission is to create a more fair, prosperous,

sustainable and inclusive Ohio, through research, media work and policy

advocacy.
The full report is available online at www.policymattersohio.org 

 

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