Archive for December, 2009

Green Jobs at the Center of Stimulus

On Tuesday, President Obama outlined his new strategy for job stimulus in the U.S.   One of the central cogs of his strategy is to generate green jobs through building environmentally friendly infrastructure as well as providing citizens the incentive to become more energy-efficient. It seems a timely coincidence that the President’s green job push comes in sync with the ongoing International Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

I’d like to break down some highlights from the speech that mark direct actions for creating green jobs, as well as make some additional points on how we can meld the worlds of hiring and environmental conservation.

–  Incentive for Energy Efficiency: Obama hit on a new proposal to provide tax rebates to citizens who are more energy efficient.  A current portion of the Waxman-Markey energy bill, titled ‘cash for caulkers,’ would provide $20 billion dollars over two years for people to  retrofit their homes to be more energy efficient.   This proposal would create numerous green jobs (up to 850,000), save close to 3.3 billion dollars in energy bills per year, as well as reduce global pollution through eco-friendly homes.

– Green Infrastructure  California currently leads the U.S in green hiring, spending and infrastructure, however other states like Colorado are quickly gaining in specific sectors like Wind and Solar.  Obama’s proposal continues to push other states that have environmental specialties (due to climate, altitude, sun exposure, etc.)  towards a green future.   A government investment in solar, wind, and energy efficient buildings, would also serve to reduce emissions while creating new jobs.

–  Green Regulation Although big business is in a constant battle against green regulation, continued environmental benchmarks from agencies like the EPA may be what it takes to get this country in the ‘green swing of things.’ Although this would at first slow growth in big business sectors like agriculture, it would eventually lead to more green innovation and hiring.

–  Small Business Growth  Small business growth was one of the highlights of Obama’s job stimulus proposal, citing the Troubled Asset Relief Program to ramp up lending to small businesses across the country.  Small Business and startup operations have been catalysts for green innovation for some time, and will continue to push the boundaries in clean energy technology.

– Green Hiring Given the stimulus that businesses are to receive to move into the green sector:  what is the most efficient use of the funding?  Of course, hiring the right talent will be integral for small and large businesses to make the most out of the stimulus.  Green jobs sounds great in theory, but without the resources for applicant tracking and recruiting, companies can be left behind.  It is important that we not only create more green jobs, but that businesses have the ability to efficiently hire the proper talent.

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