Green jobs are hailed as the employment opportunities of today and career fields of tomorrow, and already there is talk that green collar jobs – such as environmental jobs, wind turbine mechanic training, and green job training in solar panel servicing – could lift the country out of its recession. So why do partisan politics play footsie with green jobs now?
Green Jobs Now Through Wind Turbine Mechanic Training
CNN recounts the story of one Ms. Bryer who is undergoing green job training to work in the nearby wind turbine field. Wind turbine mechanic training offers green jobs now in the growing field of renewable energy while almost all other sectors are scaling back their newly created jobs.
President Obama himself has given the green light to green jobs by including roughly $20 billion for green collar job generation and green job training in his stimulus bill. VP Joe Biden suggests that environmental jobs could pay $50 — after an applicant successfully finishes green job training.
Los Angeles Politicians Playing Footsie with Green Jobs
Tomorrow there will be an election in Los Angeles. It is anticipated to have next to no voter turnout, result in the reelection of Mayor Villaraigosa (the 11% mayor) to office, and poses Measure B that is entitled the Green Energy and Good Job for LA Program.
At face value, Measure B sounds like a winner: harnessing solar energy, creating jobs, greening the landscape, and approved by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to boot! What could possibly be wrong with creating green jobs now, that Los Angeles has more than 10.1% unemployment?
Green Energy and Good Job for LA Program Sounds Like Anything But
First and foremost, it would appear as though the one union – the one coming out in favor – is banking on cornering the market, while other solar certified unions remain on the outside looking in. This results in the creation of environmental jobs with a potentially unsustainable price tag.
Secondly is the somewhat unorthodox manner in which the Department of Water and Power appeared to cherry pick its data: it published a report that underscored its assertions, but dismissed one which was actually in keeping with the department’s own statistics, but shed a less than favorable light on Measure B.
The Los Angeles Times went on record and stated that Measure B is a political power grab disguised as green jobs, green job training, and environmental consciousness. In other words, Los Angeles politicians are happily playing footsie with green collar jobs, while more than one in 10 Angelenos are standing by, desperate for work they cannot find.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/03/02/green.jobs.training/; http://www.greenenergygoodjobsla.com/; http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-measureb26-2009feb26,0,2365192.story