Thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, green jobs training opportunities can be found in communities across the nation. Training programs for energy auditors, energy efficiency retrofit experts, renewable energy installers, and much more are in progress across the nation. Some programs are tailored to provide training for underserved populations, women and unemployed individuals while others are open to anyone. Despite the surge in funding for green jobs training programs, only 1 percent of Americans recently surveyed currently has a green job or is considering one.

The Career College Association (CCA) commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct an online green jobs survey from March 9–11, 2010. During this time, 2,099 adults aged 18 and older participated in the survey. The results show that although more than 70 percent of Americans know about green jobs, only 29 percent were aware of the growing green job market.

There is a vast difference in awareness between college and high school graduates. Of the college graduates who participated in the survey, 85 percent were familiar with green jobs and 41 percent knew of the growing availability of these jobs. For comparison’s sake, only 60 percent of those with a high school degree or less knew what green jobs were and then only 22 percent knew of the job availability in the industry.

The fact that only 22 percent of those surveyed with no more than a high school education were aware of the growing green job market is of some concern. Many of the green jobs training programs are targeted to this group. The programs are out there, but more work needs to be done to advertise the availability of these opportunities to those who would be well-served by green jobs training programs.

"We believe that green jobs are truly the way of the future," said CCA President Harris N. Miller. "Green jobs conserve energy and protect our environment. By doing so, they help solve problems from mass transit and urban sprawl to lower cost energy and more intelligent use of natural resources. This study shows, however, that public understanding of green jobs is not uniform, and that workers who might form the green jobs workforce of the future, particularly at the lower rungs of the education ladder, need to know more about practical steps they can take to prepare today." Source: CCA

There are those who say a four-year degree program is the only path for adequate green jobs training, but the majority of those surveyed would disagree. Three-fourths of survey respondents said a career or technical college is the ideal place to receive green jobs training. Slightly more, 78 percent, said a community college is the ideal setting. This is good news for individuals who don’t have the time or money to dedicate to a four-year, or longer, degree program.

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