On President Obama’s second Earth Day in office, how far have green jobs come toward fixing unemployment and environmental ills? The administration aims for 5 million green jobs to grow in the next 10 years. Should Americans still believe the “hype?” Here’s the latest in green jobs news from around the Web:
The White House early in 2009 announced $500 million for efforts to train green workers, and this January it described job-training grants worth $100 million of that package. But that’s not nearly enough cash for an effort that should be as big as the Space Race, says pundit Jesse Jenkins. And contrary to conventional wisdom, green jobs are already being exported beyond U.S. borders.
For now, “fewer than 200 factories in the United States are devoted to green production, employing no more than 15,000 workers.” Companies can apply for new, federal tax credits to boost U.S. manufacturing, but an economist finds that “fewer than 500 applications have been filed so far for the tax breaks, and if all were approved they would add just 75,000 green manufacturing jobs.”
Yet, 10 percent of employers have added new, green jobs in the past year, according to a CareerBuilder poll of 2,700 hiring managers. Among the green occupations described as earning more than $60,000 on the job Web site are hydrologist, solar energy system designer, waste management engineer and urban planner. (However, CareerBuilder’s GoingGreenJobs site was kaput on Wednesday.)