A Green Economy

Everyday we hear about more people losing their jobs, but we haven't heard much about what they're supposed to do or where they should turn. In a hopeful outlook, Forbes.com, among many others such as Van Jones of Green for All, predicts that the future of the U.S. economy is looking quite green.

According to a new report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Global Insight, an economic research firm, the green economy could soon become the nation's fastest-growing job segment, as it has already added more than 750,000 jobs in 2006 and is set to add millions more in the next few decades. The report predicts that green jobs will account for about 10% of new jobs over the next 20 years and that by 2038, renewable electricity production will create 1.23 million jobs; alternative transportation fuels, 1.5 million jobs; engineering, legal, research and consulting positions will be more than 1.4 million; and commercial and residential retrofits at 81,000 jobs. In total, there could be 4.2 million jobs generated in the near future.

So where to find these jobs? Forbes.com predicts that people will be able to find a wealth of green jobs in Houston, Washington, D.C. and Boston. Not to be forgotten, California holds three of the nation's 10 largest green jobs markets: San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles. And guess which city will have the nation's largest green jobs market? New York. In 2006, the city generated more than 25,000 green jobs. By 2038, New York's new economy could create about 200,000 jobs.

With new, green jobs on the horizon, I think it is important to prepare the new workforce by educating people on the skills needed to attain these jobs. I hope that as the environment and the green economy become increasingly significant, so will education.