Skip to main content

Low-Skilled Workers’ Access to Quality Green Jobs

Author(s): 
Martinson, K.
Stanczyk, A.
Eyster, L.
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation: 
The Urban Institute
Published: 
2010
Resource Type: 
Research
Number of Pages: 
8
Abstract: 

This eight-page brief provides an overview of green occupations, including industries, positions and salary ranges. Although a few new occupations exist in green industries, many of the jobs require the same skills as non-green industries, especially in the low- and middle-skilled range. Growth is expected in predominately male dominated occupations (e.g., natural resources, construction, and maintenance), and adults must increase their skill levels to obtain the middle-skilled jobs with family sustaining wages. The authors include various strategies to increase awareness about green jobs, increase access to higher levels of training for low-skilled workers, reduce barriers, and provide incentives for low-income workers. These strategies include bridge programs, modular curricula, career paths, and partnerships between educators and employers. The brief includes several examples of programs targeting low-income, low-skilled participants; suggestions for advancing green occupations; and an extensive list of references.

What the Experts Say: 

This accessible brief provides a clear definition of “Green Jobs.” It also brings some reality to the discussion by noting that jobs in this area are growing; however, they constitute only a tiny fraction of the economy, and 75% of the jobs are high or middle skill level. These jobs require post-secondary education and training but do not require a four year degree. To prepare low-skilled individuals for green jobs will require a long-term strategy using career paths, extensive apprenticeship and certificate- level training, and partnerships between educators and employers. Additional strategies focus on curricular reforms that include bridge programs that connect remedial programs to higher levels of training.

This site includes links to information created by other public and private organizations. These links are provided for the user’s convenience. The U.S. Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this non-ED information. The inclusion of these links is not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse views expressed, or products or services offered, on these non-ED sites.

Please note that privacy policies on non-ED sites may differ from ED’s privacy policy. When you visit lincs.ed.gov, no personal information is collected unless you choose to provide that information to us. We do not give, share, sell, or transfer any personal information to a third party. We recommend that you read the privacy policy of non-ED websites that you visit. We invite you to read our privacy policy.