Saturday, December 20, 2008

Green Jobs in Buffalo?

Whether it's to save the planet, or save money, going 'green' is in. Everyone and everything are going green. Certain blue-collar jobs and white-collar jobs are now being repurposed as green-collar jobs, or simply green jobs. Green jobs are becoming the rage across the country, and hopefully these new job opportunities will develop in Buffalo.

What is a green job? Green jobs are well-paid, career-track jobs that contribute directly to preserving or enhancing environmental quality. Such jobs are arising because of the need to address global warming pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, and also because of the need to develop sources of clean, renewable energy, like wind, solar and geothermal. Also, investment in energy efficiency can create new jobs, and at the same time help reduce global warming pollution. The table below lists a wide variety of representative jobs that are associated with several different strategies for green economic investment.

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The table is from a report on a green economic recovery program which showed that a $100 billion investment in these areas over two years would result in 2 Million new jobs across the nation. This program would provide a major boost to the construction and manufacturing sectors throughout the U.S, and would have a very significant impact on New York’s labor market. There would be a net increase of 131,991 jobs, reducing New York’s unemployment rate to 3.8% in two years from 5.2% (June 2008). The full report on the impact of this economic recovery program on New York state is here.

Strong opportunities for creating green jobs are anticipated in the near future. President-elect Obama supports making strategic investments to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future. He also supports programs, like the Green Jobs Corps (see Web links on the right-side panel), that will provide youth participants with service opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of homes and buildings in their communities, and also with practical skills and experience in important career fields of expected high‐growth employment.

How about opportunities for green jobs and a Green Jobs Corps in Buffalo? Recently, NY State Assemblyman Sam Hoyt held a "Green Jobs Conference" in Buffalo. The text of his opening remarks is here, and the handout distributed at the conference is here. The conference brought together about 175 representatives from government agencies, businesses, and non-profit organizations to create a clear action plan for long-term success. Participants will continue to meet periodically in smaller groups to further develop job creation proposals and policy suggestions for consideration by state agencies. Hoyt is developing a proposal to create a concurrent green jobs and training corps program that would deconstruct, not demolish, abandoned houses in NY cities and reuse, not landfill, the recovered building materials, replicating Buffalo ReUse’s successful deconstruction model. We very much look forward to future developments on green jobs and training opportunities in Buffalo!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Business Gets Green: December 11th

On Thursday, December 11th, from 5:30 to 7:30pm at the Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo's Green Gold Development Corporation will host the 6th monthly session of Business Gets Green, a networking series for green businesses and businesses that want to explore going green. All are welcome and admission is Free. The session will feature presentations by:
  • David Lanfear, Bale-on-Bale Construction, on building a model green house, featuring superinsulation, solar hot water, photovoltaics, reclaimed materials, and a completely insulated slab with radiant heat. Video presentation.
  • David Majewski, Premium Services, will talk briefly about synergies in Low Impact Development (LID) that are continuing to grow as a result of green businesses communicating with each other.
Presentations at this session, like those at earlier Business Gets Green sessions, will be videotaped and shown on LCTV. To see videos of earlier presentations, check out the VideoWebWorks Business Gets Green Group on YouTube.

For more information, e-mail Bill Nowak at