President Obama's administration is trying to play its part, targeting almost $1.5 billion of stimulus money for such "green" job training and development.Unfortunately, this long-term promise is bumping up against short-term reality.
In a new report on the green jobs and their economic promise Workforce Strategy Center released this week, we found the unsettling fact that there are some serious roadblocks to the kind of immediate payoff we are all so eager to see.
Audio Responses to questions brought up at the City Club of Eugene public meeting.
Do we have a choice? Can we build a really sustainable community with living-wage jobs supporting our local community? Transportation costs are escalating, so having jobs that provide for the basic needs of shelter, food, clothing and health care will make our city more self-sufficient. Our questions today are: What are those jobs? Do we have the training in place? What about 10 years from now?
From most accounts, investment in energy management services is already creating new jobs. A $2 million energy efficiency construction-related project can create as many as 50 jobs, according to a white paper released by Johnson Controls. And a $10 million EPSCO might account for 95 jobs, according to NAESCO. Finally, energy efficiency programs included in climate change legislation being debated by the Senate could create as many as 20,000 jobs by 2020, according to American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
At Lane County Community College in Oregon, Roger Ebbage, director of energy and water programs, is hard at work training this new work force. The school is home to the Northwest Energy Education Institute, which has been training the front-line workers of the energy management services industry since 1980. Enrollment in this once-sleepy program tripled over the last two years to 90 and closed for the 2010-2011 academic year by December, says Ebbage.
ROGER: One reason for our place in the energy education industry is that we have been the only program in the country for many years. It was not until recently that we have helped other programs with getting into the game. And then of course since we focus on quality instruction, we have a reputation of providing a solid course or program. We are also involved with the industry nationally so we stay tuned into what’s happening from a national perspective.
Green jobs get boost Oregon is 1 of 5 states chosen for education program By John Yaukey • Gannett News Service | July 7, 2009
"Oregon was selected largely because of the certificate and degree programs at Lane Community College in Eugene
'Lane has been doing this long before it was hip to be green,' said college president Mary Spilde. 'A lot of the green jobs now are in energy efficiency, and that's where a lot of our programs are focused.'"
From the federal to the state level, governments are giving a boost to new technology and energy sources. President-elect Obama promised five million "green collar" jobs. Governor Kulongoski is working to bring electric cars--and related manufacturing plants--to the state. There are also numerous long-term and emerging "green" businesses already in Oregon. KLCC's Jes Burns has the second in our Special Issues series on the economy.
SOLARPRO | December/January 2009 By Lisa Cohn and Elisa Wood, with Charles Thurston
Community and junior colleges have stepped up to train workers for the emerging green-collar economy. Solar companies partner with colleges to help them develop curriculum materials and design programs, particularly for solar installers—then they recruit their graduates. “The community college system is an excellent way for employers to find well-qualified applicants. Part of the reason is that we’re so connected to the industry,” says John Carrese, director of the San Francisco Bay Center of Excellence, hosted at City College of San Francisco.
Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, for instance, offers an Energy Management Technician degree with an optional emphasis on renewable energy. The rigorous 100-credit program is housed in the Science Division and is ISPQ accredited by the Institute of Sustainable Power. Program Coordinator Roger Ebbage says the program began in September 2003 and has seen this year’s enrollment nearly triple the first year’s.
“We do OK with most parts of everyday reality: if someone asked us to guess how much time it'll take to get to the store, or how much a car weighs, or how tall a house is, we'll probably be pretty close. But ask us about energy, and we can be wrong by many orders of magnitude.”
Lane Community College
EMC training dollars well spent! Energy efficiency projects yield quick return on EMC training dollars. - Read Testimonials
Annual Program Support and Generous Donations By
Eugene Water and Electric Board
Northwest Water & Energy Education Institute Lane Community College - Downtown Campus 101 W 10th Ave Eugene, Oregon 97401
Phone: 1-541-463-6160 | Fax: 1-541-463-4723 General Email: email@example.com