Series # :
  ETAOP 2012-13
Title :
  Green Jobs and Career Pathways: An Arranged Marriage in Service to a 21st-Century Workforce Development System
Release Date :
  August 3, 2012
Abstract :

This qualitative study examines the early start-up experiences of two U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration energy training partnership grant recipients, Vermont Green and Renewable Northwest (ReNW) of Oregon, applying different career pathways models. The paper explores the proposition that green job career pathways will modernize the education system and build new opportunity structures into the labor market.  It begins with a review of the literature on green jobs, exploring the number of ways green jobs are defined, the dynamics of the green jobs labor market, and the debates and implications for government policy and intervention into the green economy.  This paper also includes a historical review of the career pathways model and an analysis of the literature on how the model is used by practitioners to improve education and job training programs and develop new curricula, skills certifications and credentials.  Findings about applying the career pathways model to prepare workers for green jobs from the two grant recipients included in the study are noted.  For each grant studied, the paper also explains how the early start-up of each partnership was affected by the context of each case; whether and how stakeholders experienced a need to make systemic changes; and the numerous challenges each faced.  The findings affirm and challenge propositions about green jobs career pathways in the literature and provide lessons for policy and practice.  For instance, the experiences of both the Vermont Green and ReNW grantees affirm that green jobs are skilled jobs that require skills in short supply and offer meaningful work with advancement opportunities.  At the same time, the experiences of the grants challenge that green jobs have low barriers to entry or that there are shortages of workers in the core industries that are becoming green.  In another case, the experiences of both Vermont Green and ReNW affirm that the green industry can be unstable, creating an uncertainty in the number of workers and types of skills needed.  At the time of the interviews with Vermont Green, solutions to this challenge were still in development.  ReNW’s strategy is to sync the supply and demand sides of local green jobs by holding listening panels for employers and workers.

Other reports developed for the 2009 ETA Research Papers Program include:

ETAOP 2012-11:  Job Content and Skill Requirements in an Era of Accelerated Diffusion of Innovation:  Modeling Skills at the Detailed Work Activity (DWA) Level for Operational Decision Support

ETAOP 2012-12:  The Employment Service in Rural North Carolina:  Insights from the “Great Recession”

Publication Author(s)
The George Washington University
  • Ellen, Ed.D. Scully-Russ
Full Text Document(s)
Additional Information

Hard copy available: No