Why Green Power Jobs
Are Important For Ohio
–and Western PA as Well
OhioLeft Yahoo Group
Feb 5, 2010 – The green-collar jobs movement just got another major boost: a groundbreaking new report underscores how the growing green economy can provide high quality jobs for those who need them most. The author, Professor Raquel Rivera Pinderhughes of San Francisco State University, is a leading national expert on green-collar jobs.
This report deepens our understanding of how to harness green business growth to build pathways out of poverty. Prof. Pinderhughes’ research provides us with critical guidance as we develop the Oakland Green Jobs Corps, the nation’s first attempt to carry out the model that Professor Pinderhughes describes in her report.
Professor Pinderhughes is a key partner in our Green-Collar Jobs Campaign. She is on the steering committee of the Oakland Apollo Alliance, and is a senior advisor to the Ella Baker Center and Green For All.
Green businesses need workers, offer training, and pay well. Of the Berkeley green businesses surveyed by Professor Pinderhughes:
86 percent hire workers without previous direct experience or training for green-collar jobs.
94 percent provide on-the-job training for workers in entry level positions.
90 percent pay the full cost of insuring their workers.
73 percent of businesses stated that there was a shortage of qualified green-collar workers for their sector, with the greatest needs in energy, green building, mechanics and bike repair.
The average hourly wage for green-collar work in Berkeley is $15.80 plus benefits. This is $4.00 higher an hour than Berkeley’s current minimum “living wage,” which is the highest in the nation.
Workers with barriers to employment want green-collar jobs. Analysis of men and women in Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco with barriers to employment revealed that:
89 percent wanted to learn more about green-collar jobs.
61 percent expressed interest in being contacted in the future so they could receive training to work in a green-collar job.
Prof. Pinderhughes summarizes the report:
Poverty, unemployment and racial inequality are significant problems in the United States, and there is an urgent need for a new source of living wage jobs for low income residents with barriers to employment. Where can these jobs come from? This research project shows that an important part of the answer is the deliberate cultivation of “green-collar” jobs.
Dennis Spisak-Green Party Candidate for Ohio Governor