Report identifies opportunities to retrain Ohio workers for green careers
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
* 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
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
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
The full report is available online at www.policymattersohio.org