The New York State Department of Labor, partnering with the Energy and Environmental Technology Applications Center (E2TAC) at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering-University at Albany, has received a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to estimate the number of green jobs and to identify the new, emerging and enhanced skills needed for green jobs. The Department will survey about 20,000 firms to collect this information. More in-depth research will seek to understand what skills employers need and identify existing education and training resources to fill those needs.
‘Green jobs' are defined as jobs that are essential for products or services that improve energy efficiency, expand the use of renewable energy or support environmental stability. The survey will focus on six industry clusters: construction; energy and environmental-related product manufacturing; electric power generation, transmission, and distribution; professional services; financial services; and building services. Skills needed by non-profit organizations that operate New York's Weatherization Assistance Program will also be identified.
The research project is a partnership between the Department of Labor and the State University of New York's Office of Business and Industry Relations, the New York City Labor Market Information Service at the City University of New York Graduate Center, the Energy and Environmental Technology Applications Center (E2TAC) at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany, and the Advanced Energy Center at Stony Brook University. Businesses associations, labor organizations, utility companies and other key industry stakeholders will serve as consultation partners on this initiative.
"Green jobs are important for New York's economic future, not only in terms of getting people back to work, but also to help citizens and businesses reduce energy usage," said Colleen Gardner, Commissioner of the Department of Labor. "This grant will help provide information that will help us make sure green businesses have the skilled workers they need to grow."
Dr. Pradeep Haldar, Director of CNSE's Energy and Environmental Technology Applications Center, said, "As innovations enabled by nanoscale know-how accelerate the introduction and use of clean and renewable energy technologies, the development of a highly skilled green workforce is a critical component in the growth of New York's emerging green collar economy. This initiative will provide valuable support for that effort, particularly in leveraging new opportunities for education and training for careers in the alternative energy sector."
Dr. Samuel Stanley, MD, President of Stony Brook University said "The Advanced Energy Center has fostered statewide collaborations in research on the emerging energy landscape. The green jobs survey can be enhanced by our strong partnerships formed through the NY Energy Policy Institute, the New York Smart Grid Consortium, the annual Advanced Energy Conference and our other successful public-private activities. We are pleased to be a core member of this team."
A qualified workforce is needed to carry out New York's 2009 State Energy Plan, which envisions a state economy fueled by growth in clean energy sources. This growth is expected to create new business opportunities and integrate clean energy technologies, practices and services across all sectors. Investment by businesses and utilities, as well as the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), the Public Service Commission (PSC), the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) and the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR), will stimulate energy-related business growth.
Research findings will be made available to businesses, students, jobseekers, educators and workforce professionals. Findings will also be posted on an expanded GreenCareersNY.com web site, which will include an ongoing system to communicate with the business community, an education and training directory, and information on skills needed by green industries and businesses.