Monday, March 9, 2009

Are We Getting Closer to a Green Jobs Definition?

Green jobs are the hot topic of this year's National Association of Workforce Boards conference and the question on everyone's mind is "What is the definition of a green job?" As you can imagine, there are lots of opinions and no agreement yet. However, the Department of Labor is getting closer to a definition and gave us a preview of a framework today (about to be issued).

DOL is looking at 3 categories of occupations:

1. Green Growth Occupations - Existing occupations expected to increase in demand due to the addition of greener processes. Some new skills are expected to be needed.

2. Green Enhanced Occupations - Existing occupations that will experience significant change in work and worker skill requirements.

3. Green New & Emerging Occupations - Unique new work and worker skill requirements. Will result in new occupations.

According to DOL, all of these occupations will exist in 12 industry sectors:
  • Research Design & Consulting
  • Manufacturing
  • Renewable Energy Generation
  • Green Construction
  • Environmental Protection
  • Transportation
  • Government & Regulatory Administration
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Agriculture & Forestry
  • Recycling & Waste Reduction
  • Energy Trading
  • Energy Carbon Capture

So, unfortunately the conference has not given us the magic answer yet but we do seem to be getting closer!


Anonymous said...

Please tell me what are the green jobs actually. I read it about several blogs but not get the whole idea of it.
Samuel Peterson from Job Listing

Tricia said...

Hi Samuel -

Sorry for the long delay in responding to your comment. I was in Washington DC for a week followed by a long vacation.

We are supposed to be receiving some guidance on actual NAICS codes for the occupations shortly. I suspect that most of them are not new jobs. For example, many green jobs are in the construction field and are labeled "green" because there is a new process added to a familiar set of work skills. Stay tuned to this blog and I'll post more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, please share anything you come across that sheds some more light on this!