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Annette Williams is the Director for
Sustainable South Bronx's BEST Academy

Many women see the green collar field as a man’s world focusing on outdoor work and construction. When women learn what green job training entails they often realize how much green jobs offer them. I have years of experience in running green jobs training programs and have seen that male trainees have always outnumbered women trainees. Most green jobs programs do not encourage or specifically seek out women to join the trainings. 

Sustainable South Bronx’s BEST Eco program is different. With support from the Women’s Bureau, our latest green jobs training session is comprised of 50% women. It is my mission to increase the number of women trained in bioremediation, ecological restoration, green roof installation (among other areas) to empower them to enter the green workforce well-qualified and prepared. As director of BEST (Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training) Academy, I bear witness to the highly-driven women seeking the skills, tools, and certifications (including hazardous waste, pesticide application and tree pruning) required of the green collar field. It is rewarding for me to see women embracing the training and taking leadership roles among their classmate peers.

As BEST Academy steadily increases the number of women trained in green jobs, Sustainable South Bronx changes its perception of the “average trainee” as well. The most important qualification for green jobs training is not a person’s gender, but rather their passion, ability to do the job and willingness to create a career for themselves in this field. Our experience with BEST Eco is that women can excel in green jobs.

Dave Rivkin and Phil Lewis are Project Directors at the National Center for O*NET Development.

This is the third blog that answers questions regarding the O*NET webinar that featured the O*NET Report, "Greening the World of Work: Implications for O*NET SOC and New and Emerging Occupations." Today’s blog features employment and training questions related the greening of the world of work and the O*NET program.

Labor Market

1.    What is the time frame to classify an occupation as “green increased demand” – 1 year, 5 years, 10 years?
BLS projection data is released every two years. We will review projection data and adjust our classification of green occupations at each review.

2.    How will green sectors and occupations be populated with historical information to determine growth, retention, or other measures of successes of programs designed for these classifications?
BLS will populate these projections.


1.    Are there ways that previously unqualified workers could be trained to quickly become employed in a green occupation? How can we find information about entry-level green jobs?
Green occupations can be sorted by job zone, where individuals in lower level job zone (e.g. level of vocational preparation) occupations would be able to be trained more quickly than individuals in higher level job zone occupations. Job zone information for each occupation can be found in O*NET OnLine.

Green occupations can also be sorted by education and training data in the O*NET database. Lower levels of required education (e.g., high school or less, some college) can be sorted in the database to identify entry-level green occupations. Additionally, occupations can be sorted by training data in the O*NET database, where workers could be trained more quickly in occupations with lower levels of required training (e.g., one month, three months). To download the O*NET database, please go to the following link:

We have also updated the O*NET Online and the O*NET databases with a tag for “bright outlook” occupations. “Bright Outlook” occupations meet one or more of the following criteria:
  • Much faster than average growth
  • Faster than average growth
  • Over 100,000 JOB OPENINGS
  • New and Emerging occupation
The “Bright Outlook” tag replaces the “In Demand” tags previously in O*NET OnLine. Coupling a job zone sort with “Bright Outlook” occupations may allow workers to find occupations where demand for an occupation has increased and where they will be able to be trained more quickly.

2.    How can we access training information on the O*NET website (e.g., education, skills, salary progression, etc.)?

Information regarding Job Zone requirements, level of required education, and wages can be found when searching for an occupation in O*NET OnLine. For information on how to search for occupations in O*NET OnLine, please see the following link: Users can also search by Job Zone when searching for occupations. The Career Ladders and Lattices application can also be a source of educational and training information. Users can find information about career exploration and preparation through O*NET’s numerous career exploration tools.

Additional related resources are provided on the O*NET Resource Center site.

Regional Data

1.    Can O*NET occupational information be sorted by region or state?
The O*NET program collects information at the national level, not at state or regional levels. O*NET published data is representative of the occupation nationally across various industries by both type and size.

Disability Information

1. How can disabled workers find information on green occupations?
Please see links to disability information under Job Accommodations and the U.S. Department of Labor at the following link:

Eye on Green
Posted on March 15, 2010 by Green Jobs
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EPA Awards $7.8 Million in Grants to Combat Greenhouse Gases/Twenty communities receive funds to combat climate change, save consumers money
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that 20 U.S. communities, including two Indian Tribes, will receive $7.8 million in grants for projects that will reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs). The funds will help Climate Showcase Communities increase energy efficiency, saving consumers money and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Click here for full article.

Secretary Chu Announces Over $8 Million to Support Local Energy Assurance Planning Initiatives
Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced on February 19 that the Department of Energy is making selection of awards for more than $8 million to 43 cities and towns across the country to develop or expand local energy assurance plans that will improve electricity reliability and energy security in these communities.  These emergency preparedness plans, funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will help ensure local governments can recover and restore power quickly following any energy supply disruptions. Click here for full article.

Obama Administration Launches $130 Million Building Energy Efficiency Effort
The Obama Administration has announced a multi-agency funding opportunity to support an Energy Regional Innovation Cluster (E-RIC). This pilot initiative will spur regional economic growth while developing innovative energy efficient building technologies, designs, and systems. Seven federal agencies released a combined Funding Opportunity Announcement making up to $129.7 million available over five years to support the cluster.  . Click here for more information.

HUD Secretary Donovan Announces New Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities
During a sustainability forum (February 4) at Portland State University and a speech to the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Seattle, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced the launch of HUD’s new Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities (OSHC). The office will be overseen by HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims who won national recognition for turning King County, Washington into a model for sustainable communities. OSHC is designed to help build stronger, more sustainable communities by connecting housing to jobs, fostering local innovation and building a clean energy economy. Funded by Congress for the first time in HUD’s 2010 Budget, OSHC is a key component of the Obama Administration’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities.  Click here for the full article.
Eye On Green
Posted on March 29, 2010 by Green Jobs
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College of the Desert Opens Energy Enterprise Center

In January, the College of the Desert held an opening ceremony for a new training center aimed at building a skilled green workforce for wind and solar projects and attracting renewable energy firms to the area. The center includes classrooms, a hands-on lab for teaching wind and solar skills and drop-in office and conference space for green businesses scouting the valley. For more information, please click here.

Green Technology Training Now Available Online

On January 25, the Purdue Research Foundation and Oxygen Education, LLC, a market leading developer of online content for technical education and workforce development, announced a licensing agreement that makes the Green Generalist Training developed as part of a collaboration between the Purdue Technical Assistance Program (TAP) and Oxygen Education available to the public. Educational institutions, business, industry, and workforce development initiatives that license the training can easily provide learners, employees, and workers green training online. For more information, please click here.

Village Green Global Partners with East Los Angeles College for Job Training Environmental Evaluation, Monitoring and Verification

On February 4, Village Green Global, Inc. announced its partnership with East Los Angeles College for a five-week intensive program for “Environmental EM&V Training” to commence on February 24, 2010. Using a “train the trainer” strategy, the college is seeking individuals who can quickly learn environmental assessment techniques, then present these concepts to new technicians to provide them the skills necessary to qualify for available green jobs in a fast growing market. For more information, please click here.

Jenny Erwin is the Regional Administrator in the Women’s Bureau’s San Francisco office for Region 9, which includes Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Guam.  She is currently the team lead for regional green jobs for women programs including a recent series of 30 nation-wide roundtables and current training projects for women across the country.

What was it like to be part of a local green roundtable and what were the results?  In Region 9 there were five roundtables which provided a diverse perspective on opportunities and challenges.  There was a lot of enthusiasm and interest in the topic.  From rural Native American communities, to large businesses through a Chamber of Commerce, and micro enterprise advocates, we heard that women need a variety of entry points to the emerging green economy.  This was reinforced at the two additional sessions with tradeswomen and environmental groups.  Many attendees were hearing for the first time why a green career path held so much potential for women and their families, but they didn’t know how to get information about existing green jobs, training requirements, or other support resources.  Several roundtable participants are now working to help their cities take next steps in expanding access to green jobs.  In San Diego, the CA Center for Sustainable Energy is posting green job announcements on their website and has held webinars on using social networking to find green jobs.  In Reno, efforts are under way to provide green service learning opportunities and advocates are also exploring the creation of a Green Jobs Resource Center with other local partners.

These roundtables have created a growing interest in this topic and the national involvement continues to expand with the development of two additional Women’s Bureau resources:  a webinar/teleconference series and the publication of “A Woman’s Guide to Green Jobs.”  Keep an eye on the Women’s Bureau’s website for more information about these resources.

Recently, the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) held a Webinar entitled Defining Green Industries, Business, Occupations, and Jobs; the Webinar featured the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

In the last two to three years, individual states, consortia of states, the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), the Employment and Training Administration (ETA), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and non-governmental organizations have actively pursued a better understanding of the dimensions of our nations emerging Green economy. This included identification and review of the available literature and legislation, a collegial sharing of information and ideas, and some pioneering state level Green industry and occupational surveys. This Webinar provides essential information that will benefit all of the Green Jobs - State Labor Market Information Improvement grantees, others states, and the workforce development system as they plan the next steps to address the employment and training needs to support the success of the economy's energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors.

Here are the related links:

Webinar Recording


BLS Defining Green Job Federal Register Notice

  Dave Rivkin and Phil Lewis are Project Directors at the National Center for O*NET Development. 

Recently, we held a webinar featuring the O*NET Report, "Greening the World of Work: Implications for O*NET SOC and New and Emerging Occupations." The webinar generated a number of questions. Today’s blog features some questions and answers from the webinar. Future blogs (Fridays throughout March) will feature other questions and answers from the O*NET webinar. If you have additional questions, please add them to the comments section and we will try to answer them on future blogs.

1.    What is required to secure a “green occupation” status?
In our research on the green economy, we captured three types of green occupations: Green Increased Demand, Green Enhanced Skills, and Green New and Emerging (N&E) occupations. The definitions of these three categories of green occupations are provided below:

Green Increased Demand Occupations: The impact of green economy activities and technologies is an increase in the employment demand for an existing occupation. However, this impact does not entail significant changes in the work and worker requirements of the occupation. The work context may change, but the tasks themselves do not.

Green Enhanced Skills Occupations: The impact of green economy activities and technologies results in a significant change to the work and worker requirements of an existing O*NET-SOC occupation. This impact may or may not result in an increase in employment demand for the occupation. The essential purposes of the occupation remain the same, but tasks, skills, knowledge, and external elements, such as credentials, have been altered.

Green New and Emerging Occupations: The impact of green economy activities and technologies is sufficient to create the need for unique work and worker requirements, which results in the generation of a new occupation relative to the O*NET taxonomy. This new occupation could be entirely novel or "born" from an existing occupation.

For a complete guide of our definition of the green economy and how we researched green occupations, see our Greening of the World of Work Report.

2.    Are all 159 new and emerging (N&E) occupations green, or only some of them?
Out of a total of 159 new and emerging (N&E) occupations, 78 of them are green. Note there are also 13 waitlisted green N&E occupations.

3.    Where can we find a list of the 13 waitlisted (non-published) green new and emerging (N&E) occupations?

The 13 waitlisted occupations can be found in the list of green new and emerging (N&E) occupations on the O*NET Resource Center site. Those occupations with an “n/a” for the O*NET-SOC 2009 code represent the 13 waitlisted green N&E occupations. The 13 occupations received a “waitlist” status because the occupation is so new that employment and/or projected growth numbers are uncertain at this time. We will re-visit these 13 occupations in the future to determine if sufficient employment and projected growth numbers are present to recommend them as occupations to be included in the O*NET-SOC taxonomy.

4.    Early in the presentation, it was stated that 33 green new and emerging (N&E) occupations were identified; but later it was stated that 91 green N&E occupations were identified. Please clarify.
Thirty-three green new and emerging (N&E) occupations were identified out of our research on the green economy. In addition to these 33 occupations, we identified 13 waitlisted occupations out of our research on the green economy, for a total of 46 green N&E occupations. In addition, 45 existing N&E occupations previously identified through research on in-demand industry clusters were found to qualify as green N&E occupations. Therefore, in total, 91 (46 green economy 45 previously identified N&E occupations) occupations are included as being green N&E occupations.

5.    Can green be integrated with other emerging industries (e.g., energy)?
Yes, in fact, half of our list of green new and emerging (N&E) occupations were previously identified in other in-demand industries (such as the energy and automotive industries). For a complete list of green N&E occupations, including those covering other industries, please see our link on the O*NET Resource Center site.

6.    How do we access the 91 green new and emerging (N&E) occupations?
The 91 green new and emerging (N&E) occupations can be accessed in a number of places: in our Greening of the World of Work report, on the O*NET Resource Center site, and in O*NET OnLine.

7.    Is there a list or identifier that differentiates “regular” skills from green enhanced skills in the task statements for an occupation?
Our definition of “green enhanced skills” occupations are occupations where the essential purpose of the occupation remains the same, but tasks, skills, knowledge, and external elements, such as credentials, have been altered due to the impact of green economy activities and technologies.

We are currently updating our task lists for green enhanced skills occupations and green new and emerging (N&E) occupations to reflect new green tasks. Once this project is complete, we will add a green identifier to occupational tasks that are considered green.

8.    Were any green jobs identified from association partners?
We used associations both directly and indirectly while researching the green economy. As an example of indirect use, some reports we gathered information from about the green economy cited numerous associations they used as primary sources of information (making them secondary sources for us).  We directly used a number of association resources in compiling a list of proposed new and emerging (N&E) occupations to help us gain information about types of green occupations, employment numbers, industry trends, projected growth, and training and association membership. We also referenced a number of our 450 partner associations for information on the green economy.  In our ongoing research on the green economy, we will continue to research associations related to green economic activities and technologies to identify potential new green occupations.

9.    Many organizations are interested in competencies for green occupations; however some of the O*NET occupations do not yet have KSAs. What is the time frame for getting information for KSAs on green occupations?
All green increased demand and green enhanced skills occupations have KSA data available. For green new and emerging (N&E) occupations, we will have 15 occupations that will have KSA data by June 2010. Data collection efforts are ongoing and we will have KSA data available for all green occupations in the future.

10.    Why was an “Education” sector not included as green if a teacher teaches deconstruction, for example?
When conducting our initial research on the green economy, we reviewed existing lists of major green economy sectors. The 12 sectors that were chosen for inclusion in our report of the green economy were chosen based on those areas typically discussed in green economy literature. At the time of our research, the education sector was not prevalent enough for inclusion; however, we will consider additional sectors in our ongoing research on the green economy.

11.    Have you included any water/wastewater management occupations?
Yes, we have a couple of green new and emerging (N&E) occupations related to water and wastewater: 17-2051.02 Water/Wastewater Engineers and 11-9121.02 Water Resource Specialists. We also have a green enhanced skills occupation related to water: 19-1031.01 Soil and Water Conservationists. As we continue our research on the green economy, more occupations may be added to the list in the future.

12.    Energy Auditors, Raters, etc. are called many different names. Also, the required education and certification can be confusing. Since there are projected massive retrofits, will this category by more clearly highlighted and discussed?
We have a number of green new and emerging (N&E) occupations related to energy: Energy Auditors, Energy Engineers, Energy Brokers, and numerous Wind and Solar Energy occupations. As we continue to monitor the green economy, we may include more energy occupations.

Please see our Greening of the World of Work report and green economy information on the O*NET Resource Center site for more information and lists of all green N&E occupations.

Check back next Friday for additional answers to questions from the O*NET webinar.

Women and Green Jobs
Posted on March 31, 2010 by Green Jobs
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The Green Jobs Community of Practice is developing green profiles for targeted populations and industries. The profiles are environmental scans of existing resources dedicated to green jobs and the respective populations and industries. This is the first in the series in celebration of March as Women's History Month.

Women-Green Jobs Profile

The Department of Labor's Women's Bureau published a "Why is Green Good for Women" fact sheet.

Why is Green Good for Women Fact Sheet

If you have or know of resources dedicated to women and green jobs that are not represented here, please comment and post a link.
Karen Hornstein Shapiro is a Program Analyst in the Women’s Bureau’s national office.  She is currently the team lead for “A Woman’s Guide to Green Jobs,” a publication being created to provide women workers and workforce professionals with resources and information on how women can take advantage of opportunities in the green economy.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau is excited to be hosting a series of webinars/teleconferences for workforce practitioners, designed to offer information and an exchange of ideas to better connect women with green jobs training and green employment. 

The first teleconference in this series,“Why is Green Good for Women?” will take place on March 15, 2010 at 12:00 noon EDT.  We will be discussing opportunities for women in green occupations and key reasons for women to seek employment or career advancement in green jobs, including examples from the field.

Speakers include:
  • Sara Manzano-Diaz, U.S. Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau Director
  • Jason Walsh, Blue Green Alliance, Director of Policy and Strategic Partnerships
  • Joan Kuriansky, Wider Opportunities for Women, Executive Director
  • Connie Ashbrook, Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc., Executive Director

Participation is limited so register early!  Please visit the Women's Bureau site or email them for more information. 
 Dave Rivkin and Phil Lewis are Project Directors at the National Center for O*NET Development.

This is the second blog that answers questions regarding the O*NET webinar that featured the O*NET Report, "Greening the World of Work: Implications for O*NET SOC and New and Emerging Occupations." Today’s blog features some questions and answers about the O*NET program.

1.    How do you determine if an occupation is new and emerging (N&E)?
To determine if an occupations is new and emerging (N&E), each proposed N&E occupation must meet a number of criteria. Each occupation:
  •     Has significantly different work performed from other O*NET-SOCs;
  •     Is not well reflected in the O*NET-SOC classification structure;
  •     Has significant number of employees working in the occupation;
  •     Has positive projected growth;
  •     Stems from an identifiable industry trend;
  •     Has licensure or certification requirements;
  •     Has education or credentials offered;
  •     Has linked professional associations; and
  •     Has related journals or professional publications.
To see the full criteria of how N&E occupations are identified and recommended for inclusion in the O*NET-SOC taxonomy, please read our N&E Methodology Report.

2.    Are new and emerging (N&E) occupations surveyed for KSAs or are they assigned by staff?
N&E occupation KSAs are surveyed by job incumbents or occupational experts (OEs) during the data collection process.

3.    Does O*NET plan to change its survey instrument to reflect the green economy?
O*NET is currently greening Tools and Technology (T2s), Detailed Work Activities (DWAs) and occupational task lists to reflect changes due to the green economy. As we learn more about the greening of the world of work, modifications may be made to survey instruments in the future.

4.    It seems there would be value in modifying the “green leaf” symbol on O*NET OnLine to identify the three categories of green occupations (i.e., green increased demand, green enhanced skills, and green new and emerging). Any thoughts on allowing users to see in list format which occupations fall into each of these three categories?
For our initial version of identifying green occupations in O*NET OnLine, we are using a “green leaf” symbol to identify all green occupations. Although we only have one “green leaf” symbol at this time, we currently do have separate lists of green increased demand, green enhanced skills, and green new and emerging occupations. They can be found on the O*NET Resource Center website. We appreciate feedback on the usability of our website and may consider modifying the “green leaf” symbol in the future to identify the three categories of green occupations in O*NET OnLine.

5.    When will you incorporate the 2010 SOC into the O*NET system?
Once the 2010 SOC has been finalized, we will develop a crosswalk between the current O*NET-SOC 2009 taxonomy and the 2010 SOC taxonomy. From there, we will convert our O*NET-SOC codes, titles, and definitions to reflect the new 2010 SOC codes, titles, and definitions. These updated codes, titles, and definitions will be represented in the next updated O*NET-SOC taxonomy, released in June 2010.

6.    What is a lay title?
Lay titles are a list of alternate occupational or job titles that have been collected through data collection from job incumbents and occupational experts. Lay titles are used to improve keyword searches in several Department of Labor internet applications (e.g., Career InfoNet, O*NET OnLine, and O*NET Code Connector). For example, lay titles for the O*NET-SOC occupation 35-1011.00 Chefs and Head Cooks include Banquet Chef, Culinary Artist, and Sous Chef.

7.    How are the .99 codes derived?

.99 codes reflect an O*NET-SOC “All Other” classification.

8.    Is there a screening process when someone enters new information about Tools and Technology (T2s)? Are the entries verified prior to adding them to the official list of T2s?
Yes. All write-in T2s undergo analyst review prior to being added to the T2 database. This review helps determine which T2 user suggestions are useful additions to the T2 database and should be included in the annual update. Analysts look to see if the submitted T2 already exists in the published or current year database for that occupation. Sometimes, redundant T2s are submitted. Analysts confirm the fit of the T2 object to the occupation as well as its fit with the higher level classification system used to group T2 objects. After this review, automated checks are conducted. Final user submissions for the year are included in the annual T2 publication.

9.    Are there any tests on the O*NET website that show what type of occupation a person is best suited for?
The O*NET program has developed a variety of Career Exploration Tools that are designed to help workers consider and plan career options, preparation, and transitions more effectively. They also are designed for use by students who are exploring the school-to-work transition. Please see Career Exploration Tools, for more information.

Check back next Friday for additional answers to questions from the O*NET webinar.
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