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GREEN JOBS A PATH TO A STRONG MIDDLE CLASS

GREEN JOBS A PATH TO A STRONG MIDDLE CLASS

By JOE BIDEN

Below are excerpts from Vice President Joe Biden's report last week on the

White House's Task Force on the Middle Class.The Task Force on the Middle Class has a simple mandate: to find, highlight

and implement solutions to the economic challenges facing the American

middle class.Green jobs have the potential to be quality, family-sustaining jobs that

also help to improve our environment. They are largely domestic jobs that

can't be offshored. They tend to pay more than other jobs, even controlling

for worker characteristics. Moreover, green jobs are an outgrowth of a

larger movement to reform the way we create and use energy in both this

country and the rest of the world. They represent a growth sector, and one

that offers the dual promise of providing good jobs while meeting the

environmental challenge to reduce our dependence on finite fossil fuels

that generate harmful carbon emissions.What is a green job?We define green jobs quite broadly as employment that is associated with

some aspect of environmental improvement. A scientist working on advanced

renewable energy alternatives to CO2-producing fossil fuels is engaged in a

green job, but so is a laborer weatherizing a home or a lineman -- or

linewoman -- building out the smart electric grid.Green jobs are good jobs. They pay more, by 10 to 20 percent than other

jobs, and are more likely to be union jobs than other jobs. Green jobs are

more likely to be held by men, but less likely to be held by minorities or

urban residents, and addressing this will be a significant challenge.The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes various significant

investments in green technology and jobs. These include:More than $11 billion for investments in a new smart grid, which will

create thousands of miles of new or modernized high-tech transmission

lines, while training and employing highly-skilled and well-paid

lineworkers.$500 million for research and job training projects that

prepare workers for careers in energy efficiency and renewable energy.$6

billion for a loan guarantee program that will enable green industries to

continue their rapid growth.$5 billion to the Weatherization Assistance

Program that could save homeowners $350 per year on their utility bills.There are a set of initiatives that are strongly associated with building a

green jobs movement.They are: a public mandate to achieve an energy conservation goal; elected

officials invested in meeting the goal; private employers interested in

creating green jobs to meet the new labor demands for environmentally sound

output; financing sources who want to invest in the new initiatives, often

involving federal loan guarantees; and extensive labor force

intermediaries, including community colleges, union apprenticeship

programs, and public/private training programs to serve as a linkage

between employers and workers.Improve environmentThe most general trait of green jobs is that they must be jobs that somehow

contribute to the improvement of environmental quality.Green jobs involve some task associated with improving the environment,

including reducing carbon emissions and creating and/or using energy more

efficiently; they should be good jobs that provide a sustainable family

wage, health and retirement benefits, and decent working conditions; and

they should be available to diverse workers from across the spectrum of

race, gender and ethnicity.To read the original article please click hereFor the very latest in green energy jobs across the world please click here