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Here are some new resources available on the Green CoP:

New Mexico Green Jobs Cabinet Report
New Mexico has released the Green Jobs Cabinet Report which identified five major goals necessary for maximizing the state’s green economy potential, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and green workforce education. The Governor also issued an executive order which directs state agencies to help meet these goals. For example, the Department of Workforce Solutions will be asked to convene a Green Industry Council to help establish curricula in the public education system, among other tasks. The governor has also announced the release of a Green Jobs Guidebook, which provides information on green careers, education requirements and opportunities as well as other resources for those seeking green economy jobs.

Mapping Green Career Pathways: Job Training Opportunities and Infrastructure
The Apollo Alliance and the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce have teamed up to identify components of Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin's workforce development infrastructure that can be better integrated and scaled up to help fill jobs in the clean energy sector. The reports, Mapping Green Career Pathways: Job Training Opportunities and Infrastructure, recommend strengthening existing training infrastructures to build workers’ skills to fill green-collar jobs that are being created in the construction and manufacturing sectors, which are projected to account for 55 percent of all new jobs in the emerging renewable energy and efficiency industries. According to the reports, many of the elements of a green training infrastructure already exist in each state, but there are still gaps along the green career pathway that must be filled through stronger, more integrated training programs.
This blog is from Jane Weissman who has been the Executive Director of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) since 1994.  IREC is a nonprofit organization celebrating its 28th anniversary.  IREC is the North American Licensee for the ISPQ Accreditation of Renewable Energy Training Programs and the Certification of Trainers. 

Many of us who have been in the trenches pushing hard for clean and renewable energy resources might have finally gotten what we've wished for.  Public and political will are supportive of a "green" economy.  New companies and organizations are fast to enter the market.  There is anticipation of many new green jobs.  Enrollment for green training is at an all-time high.  Great.  Now, let's not jump off a cliff in our rush to train the green workforce.

We need to move quickly but with caution, efficiency and attention to detail.

We held the third national conference on Workforce Education for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency two months ago in Albany.  Large crowd.  High energy.  We heard from community colleges, skill centers, training organizations, the trades, and other educational providers.  We came away with some clear themes and challenges.  There needs to be a reasonable  balance between training  and job opportunities -- let's not glut the market with trained practitioners but few jobs.  Critical to success are regular interactions between employers and training providers  -- let's make sure we're teaching the courses for the jobs that are out there.  More instructors are needed -- those who are good teachers with practical experience.  Train-the-trainer programs are gaining traction while hands-on training needs more time at the job site.  And, quality assurance and competency standards are the underpinning for a strong, green workforce.

This last point is really important.  Third-party verification through licensing and well-developed credentialing schemes provide objective assurances of competency.  With the proliferation of training programs, there needs to be guarantees that the right skill sets are being taught.  Poor workmanship becomes a safety issue and erodes consumer confidence.  Students should have a realistic understanding of what kinds of jobs they are being trained for and what additional  jurisdictional requirements they might need.

The planets are pretty much aligned -- public support, good policies, funding sources, and momentum.  Moving forward, how do we make sure that the green economy doesn't get a black eye?
Recently, a webinar was held, featuring the O*NET Report, "Greening the World of Work: Implications for O*NET SOC and New and Emerging Occupations." This Webinar highlights findings from the O*NET Program's report Greening the World of Work: Implications for O*NET- SOC and New and Emerging Occupations. The report describes the O*NET program's efforts to define the green economy; describe green industry sectors and identify different types of green occupations including green new and emerging occupations. The Webinar also presents how this new green information has been incorporated into O*NET products and tools to help workforce development professionals, educators, and individuals learn about and use the most current information on the green economy and green occupations.

Here are some links to the materials:

O*NET Report

O*NET Report Webinar

Discussion thread about the Report and Webinar

O*NET Online
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