California’s growing green economy is the subject of yet another study. The University of California, Berkeley released a report last week that examined the state of green jobs throughout California. The report, which was mandated by the California Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan, projects $11.2 billion in public and private investments in energy efficiency in the state by 2020. These investments could lead to the creation of 211,000 new jobs.
While the prospect of adding hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the state sounds ideal, the team at UC Berkeley are concerned about the quality of the energy efficiency upgrades being performed. The lack of a focus on quality work could actually derail job growth in the state.
The research team “warned that unless building codes and other regulations are enforced, quality standards are placed on contractors, skill certifications are required, and workers are rewarded for acquiring skills with higher wages, these quality problems will undermine efforts to achieve energy efficiency goals and to create good jobs for Californians. Job training is necessary, but not sufficient to improve quality.” Source: UC Berkeley
In order to improve quality and support green job growth in the state, the research team made several recommendations including the need to define clear certification requirements, focus on making traditional trade occupations more green instead of creating new niche positions and supporting state-certified apprenticeships.
To learn more about the recommendations, download the report: California Workforce Education & Training Needs Assessment.