Green Jobs? Not So Much

By Donald Sears  |  Posted 2010-08-17 Print this article Print

At present, a green job means you're envious of having a job. Yeh, that kind of green.

I feel like I'm talking about cloud computing 10 years ago when it was barely a revenue blip, but it's essentially true.

Sure, there are some smart grids down in San Diego and the Pacific Northwest is investing in these technologies (and just announced some 1,500 jobs to be coming) as well as startups and small companies in San Francisco. But is it a burgeoning industry? No. Not yet.

A recent article in the San Francisco Examiner purports that green jobs have lost significant steam and are essentially following the pattern of the rest of the economy. The bottomline is that consumer and commercial demand is virtually dead, as found in a survey on city's green economy.

San Francisco has taken the lead in the green and clean industry, with programs like Go Solar. As of 2008, there were 11,352 green jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to UC Berkeley.

But green job growth has been crippled in the last year as financing programs and other green loan programs have been dropped or stalled at the federal level, including Property Assessment Clean Energy and the Home Star loan program that would provide rebates.

"There is a lot of excitement around green jobs because people have high hopes," said Carrie Portis, executive director of SFWorks. "But we might have gotten ahead of ourselves a little bit."

So much effort has been put in keeping the economy in check that jobs in energy efficiency and the technologies to get there are suffering from a lack of support and funding.

"If you want to work in sustainability within a corporation, you still have to have a skill that is fundamental to the economy," G. Dodd Galbreath, executive director at the Institute for Sustainable Practice in an article on green jobs for TheLadders. "You have to marry it to accounting or architecture or product design or manufacturing or real estate or development and construction - something that has been sustainable as a business in itself across modern history. " |

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