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The U.S. Department of Labor announced the first phase of the Career Videos for America's Job Seekers Challenge on May 10, which invites members of the public to produce and submit one to three minute videos focusing on the daily activities of one of 15 high-wage and in-demand occupations. The video challenge is intended to result in greater visibility for selected occupations and increased numbers of workers seeking training and placement in these areas. The creators of the top video in each category will win a $1,000 cash prize.

The occupational videos should pertain to one of fifteen occupations; the five featured green occupations include:

  • Biofuels Processing Technicians;
  • Energy Auditors;
  • Solar Thermal Installers and Technicians;
  • Weatherization Installers and Technicians; and
  • Wind Turbine Service Technicians.

The first phase of the challenge (video submission) ends August 20, 2010. If you would like more information or to submit a video, please see the Career Video Press Release, the Career Video Website , or the Training and Employment Notice.

Eye on Green
Posted on May 24, 2010 by Green Jobs
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Sustainable Roundtable Summary

In partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization (OBLR), International Economic Development Council (IEDC) hosted a Sustainability Roundtable discussion during the 2009 Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada, on October 7, 2009. The event brought together EPA representatives, economic development professionals, and others who are actively engaged in sustainable development initiatives. The roundtable was attended by more than 25 people representing the public, private and non-profit sectors. The summary paper (PDF) builds on the discussion at the roundtable to examine emerging trends, successful strategies, and continuing challenges in this cutting-edge area of economic development. For the report, please click here.

How Credentials can build a competitive, green energy workforce?

Last month, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) interviewed Sarah White, Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) on how credentials can build a competitive, green energy workforce. For the interview, please click here.

Working Women in the Green Economy Microsite

Last month, the Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation launched Working Women in the Green Economy , a new microsite tailored specifically for women seeking information and career assistance for sustainable jobs of the future. 

“This new site, funded by the Walmart Foundation, is part of BPW Foundation’s Moving from Red to Green: Working Women in the Green Economy (Red to Green) initiative that connects women to the emerging green economy by providing green job training and resources,” said BPW Foundation Chair Roslyn Ridgeway.  For more details, please click here.

An ETA Bi-Regional Greening of Labor Market Information (LMI) Forum was held in Denver, Colorado on May 5-6, 2010. ETA's Dallas and San Francisco Regions created and produced the forum.

One-hundred participants attended the forum, representing 25 states (10 states were represented from outside of the Dallas and San Francisco regions). About 15 of the Green State LMI Improvement grantees (consortia and states) were represented at the Forum.

Several plenary sessions and workshops specifically for LMI grantees were held during the Forum. All of the presentations have been uploaded to the Green Jobs Community of Practice. The resources can be found here:

Greening of LMI Forum Resources.

Manufacturing
Posted on May 19, 2010 by Green Jobs
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The Community of Practice will be looking at the Manfuacturing Sector over the next few weeks. The first installment of this series is a brief scan of the manufacturing industry, federal policies and programs, and key organizations.

Subsequent postings will be from the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and other manufacturing employers that have green jobs.

 

Green Profile: Manufacturing

This is the fifth in a series of blogs, which be posted on Fridays over the next few months on the Green Jobs Community of Practice. The series will focus on the definition of green jobs and will highlight green jobs reports from various states. This blog features California and its lessons learned.

 

Bonnie Graybill has been a manager in the California Labor Market Information Division since 1991, currently serving as Deputy Division Chief for Programs and Local Information.  Beginning in Spring 2008, Bonnie and her staff have been studying the green economy.  Bonnie’s career in State government began in 1973, in Employment Development Department’s (EDD) Personnel Office.  In ensuing years, she managed various programs at the State Personnel Board and EDD, including serving as Planning Chief for EDD’s Director. 

 

California’s LMI staff has been studying the green economy, and recently completed a survey of green jobs and green practices for the state, surveying over 50,000 businesses across the economy—all industries, all geographies and all size classes. Results from the can be viewed in a presentation entitled California's Green Economy.

 

 

California’s Lessons Learned from Conducting a Green Economy Survey of Employers

1. What are the top three or essential things to consider and resolve before you begin to develop your plan to conduct a survey of green jobs, occupations and/or industries?

  • Define “green” with partners Work with stakeholders to explore possible definitions of green for you survey.  It is critical to have definition that will allow employers to provide responses that unambiguously describe their situation. Consider definitions used by other organizations in your state and outside your state. Discuss how these potential definitions will address questions raised in your state. Building the definition with partners will contribute to the buy-in you will get once the survey is complete.
  • Decide what questions you need to ask and design survey instrument Limit your survey to the absolute minimum number of questions needed to address the most important questions for your stakeholders. This may require a great deal of work to achieve agreement among your partners as to the most important items but will promote a higher response rate from employers. Be sure the questions are clear and will elicit the desired response.  If you develop an online version of the questionnaire, make sure the questions are completed in the same manner as the paper version.
  • Pretest the survey instrument Do an adequate amount of outreach with employers to pretest the survey questionnaire.  Introduce the survey and the goals/purpose of the research to a subset of the sample (about 100 employers) and ask them to complete the questionnaire.  Follow-up by interviewing individual employers about anything they thought was confusing, misleading, poorly worded, etc.  Review employer responses and concerns with the survey team to identify potential clarifications and improvements to the questionnaire. Retest the edited survey with a subset of the pretest group to ensure that the edits corrected the issues they may have identified.  
  • Select your sample and verify addresses and phone numbers Determine how you are going to select your sample; all industry vs. particular industries, private industry only vs. including public firms, site selection vs. firm selection. Allow adequate time for address refinement after the sample is drawn.  Look up/confirm telephone numbers at the same time you are refining addresses because there is a good chance you will be making follow-up calls to employers.  Build in sufficient time to send introductory post cards to the sampled employers to announce the survey and help with address verification. If the post cards come back as undeliverable, you know you have address research to do.  Tracking down correct addresses for employers, particularly in a declining economy, was troublesome for us.  Even after three rounds of address refinement we had thousands of undeliverable surveys returned by the post office.
  • Prepare for survey data collection by phone If you plan to collect survey data by phone, develop the training early and spend a sufficient amount of time training the phone staff.  Two-to-four hours of training is not sufficient.  Train the phone staff in how to overcome objections gracefully, tactfully, and with enthusiasm so employers are willing to stay on the phone long enough to complete the survey. Have the phone staff role play with each other until they are all comfortable with any potential scenarios.  Train phone staff not to adlib on the questions and not to bail out halfway through the survey.  Plan on supervising the phone staff at unannounced times (e.g. frequent physical “management by walking around” type monitoring.)
  • Develop a survey transmittal letter The letter that accompanies the survey when sent to employers should be signed by someone who is respected in the field of research and not subject to political influence.  California’s survey was sent under Governor Schwarzenegger’s signature at a time when trust/respect for the Governor was less than favorable  If disenfranchised employers viewed the green survey as the Governor’s pet project they were less likely to respond to the survey except to voice their (strong) disapproval. In fact, our response rate doubled when we sent out a humble “last chance” letter signed by our division chief.
  • Announce the survey in one or more press releases Prior to the first mailing of surveys, work with the media to post press releases regarding the coming survey and the importance of employers’ prompt, accurate response.  Take a lesson from the Census media blitz that has been in the media for the past couple of months.
  • Review completed surveys as they are received Review not only the questionnaire but compare industry and employment to QCEW. We did not review surveys completed online until we were into data analysis.


2. What was the most important lesson learned that will save time and grief?

  • Build a database! Create the necessary technical infrastructure to house the complete sample and all related employer-specific data and all survey response data.  Make sure you have the technical staff skills needed to process and analyze the data. It has been problematic for California to maintain all survey data in Excel spreadsheets because of the size of the spreadsheets, insufficient memory and/or processing power to work with such large files, and the limitation of only one person being able to work on a file at a time.  Also, cleansing the response data; developing the weighting, non-response adjustment factors, benchmarks, and variances when working with five or six or more different files is extremely cumbersome and opens the door to potential errors. The process was laborious and time consuming, at a time when we wanted to move forward more quickly with our analysis.

 

What are some lessons that YOU learned from Green Jobs Surveys?

This is the fourth in a series of blogs, which be posted on Fridays over the next few months on the Green Jobs Community of Practice. The series will focus on the definition of green jobs and will highlight green jobs reports from various states. This blog features California.

 

Bonnie Graybill has been a manager in the California Labor Market Information Division since 1991, currently serving as Deputy Division Chief for Programs and Local Information.  Beginning in Spring 2008, Bonnie and her staff have been studying the green economy.  Bonnie’s career in State government began in 1973, in Employment Development Department’s (EDD) Personnel Office.  In ensuing years, she managed various programs at the State Personnel Board and EDD, including serving as Planning Chief for EDD’s Director. 

 

California’s LMI staff has been studying the green economy, and recently completed a survey of green jobs and green practices for the state, surveying over 50,000 businesses across the economy—all industries, all geographies and all size classes. Results from the can be viewed in a presentation entitled California's Green Economy.

 

 

Our working definition of “green” jobs is:

Green jobs produce (“supply”) goods or services that result in:

  • Generating and storing renewable energy
  • Recycling existing materials
  • Energy efficient product manufacturing, distribution, construction, installation, and maintenance
  • Education, compliance and awareness
  • Natural and sustainable product manufacturing

Preliminary findings from our survey include:

  • Nearly 15,200 employers responded
  • 8.6 percent of employers report employees working on green products and services
  • About 3.8 percent of all workers are working on green products and services
  • About two-thirds of green workers spend more than half time on green aspects of job
  • 63 percent of employers report using at least one green business practice
  • Three-quarters of current green workers were trained on the job
  • About 15 percent of employers in our sample went out of business during this difficult time in our economy

There is a lot of interest in our findings.  We gave a presentation on our preliminary findings on April 7, 2010 that can be viewed here.

We will be publishing a report on our findings in early May, and follow with a series of reports focusing on industry and geographic details.  We are gathering additional information on green occupations and skills in the year to come.

We are happy to hear what other states are doing, and answer questions if we can! 

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