California’s clean energy policies will grow economy in jobless recovery, report shows

A comprehensive analysis of the jobs impact and training needs resulting from California energy-related policies and program has found that the programs will provide significant numbers of jobs, even in today’s tough economy times.

The report, “California Workforce Education and Training Needs Assessment for Energy Efficiency, Demand Response and Distributed Generation,” completed by the University of California, Berkeley, forecasts that the public and private sectors will invest $11.2 billion in energy efficiency measures in California by 2020, which will create about 211,000 jobs through the economy.

It is the first study of the job impacts and workforce preparation issues related to state and federal policies and programs that are designed to improve energy efficiency, reduce peak energy demand, and develop localized renewable energy generation in California.

Most of the new energy efficiency jobs that will be created and will require training are mostly in traditional construction trades; the remaining ones requiring training will be clean energy jobs such as solar and wind turbine installers.

California has more than 1,000 training programs that provide basic to advanced training for the most in-demand occupations. Programs are offered at four-year and community colleges, state-certified apprenticeship schools, community-based organizations, high school career technical offices and elsewhere.

The report recommended specific actions that California can take to meets its energy efficiency goals and help create jobs, including:

  • Continue and expand policies and programs to improve energy efficiency, reduce peak demand and develop localized distributed energy generation;
  • Support state-certified apprenticeships and improve coordination between community college programs and apprenticeships; and
  • Support strong entry ways into professional jobs and apprenticeships for individuals from disadvantaged communities through career technical education and pre-apprenticeship programs in high-school and community colleges.

This positive news will accelerate California’s growing green economy, which is the largest in the country, based on jobs, companies and clean tech investments.

Anyone interested in learning more about the job requirements for energy efficiency and hundreds of other types of green jobs can reference EDF’s Green Jobs Guidebook. The downloadable guide features:

  • Profiles of 200 green jobs in California
  • Details on 45 job types for high school grads, many paying more than $25 per hour
  • Information on job training and placement programs
  • Listings of valuable apprenticeship programs

EDF’s Green Jobs California site lists training programs in the Los Angeles regions and other resources to help people envision and begin pursuing a green career.

California is a renowned clean energy leader with a track record of energy policies that create jobs and grow our economy. This latest report is the latest proof that California’s economic growth and environmental protection policies go hand in hand.

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