In honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a new report that highlights how the organization is Turning Green Jobs to Gold, Safely (PDF).
“The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is turning green jobs into golden opportunities, safely by working with its community, labor, and industry partners to train the workforce for new and high growth fields while building a greener planet. A changing job market and the emerging clean energy economy are creating new jobs and greening old jobs, and DOL is working to make sure that all of these jobs are good jobs. Good jobs are jobs with livable wages, worker safety protections and real career pathways.”
Good green jobs are an integral part of the emerging green economy. The government, eco-advocates, and community organizations have joined forces to help ensure that the green jobs that Americans are being trained for today will be good jobs that provide a lifelong career for these workers.
The DOL report highlights several measures that the agency is working on, including retrofitting the DOL headquarters to be more energy-efficient. The 2 million square foot Frances Perkins Building is the headquarters of the DOL. The building went through energy efficiency retrofits and earned the EPA EnergyStar rating in both 2008 and 2009. DOL Job Corps programs are working on retrofitting the more than 120 locations across the nation.
Another DOL initiative focuses on green jobs for women. Most of the clean energy jobs in today’s market are in traditionally male-dominated fields. To help improve the green workforce for women, the DOL is working on a Women’s Guide to Green Jobs, which will be released this summer.
In addition to focusing on good green jobs, the DOL is also focusing on safe green jobs. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is partnering with Texas State Technical College to work on addressing workplace safety issues in the wind energy industry.
These are just a few of the green jobs initiatives that the DOL addressed in their Earth Day 2010 report. You can download the entire report via the DOL website: Turning Green Jobs to Gold, Safely (PDF).