Written by Michelle Reeves, Four Green Steps
Monday, 20 August 2012 08:30
Written by Michelle Reeves, Four Green Steps
Nowadays, going green is more and more important in young professionals’ lifestyles, to the point where 80% of graduating college students want to secure a “green-collar” job by working in an industry that helps the environment. Areas like renewable energy and energy efficiency already provide 8.5 million jobs and that market is growing. However, the slow economy means that all job markets are extremely competitive. So here’s a list of the top ten cities in the States to research if you’re on the hunt for a green jobs.
- San Francisco: With over 42, 000 green jobs, San Francisco is the main reason California is the state with the highest number of eco-friendly employment opportunities. The city also recently passed 100 million dollars in bonds to create sustainable jobs and businesses. Fields include energy generation, environmental consulting, green tech, emission control and monitoring and LEED-certified architecture.
- Denver: Colorado has long been home to many clean energy businesses such as Vestas Wind Systems. Job growth in the industry has grown 18% in the past 10 years with many institution jobs available; the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s funding has nearly doubled under the Obama administration. The significant amount of investment in green jobs in Denver has helped the city remain below the national unemployment average and overall outperform the U.S economy.
- New York City: The Big Apple has recently launched a 1 billion dollar plan called PlaNYC, which includes 127 initiatives to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30%. In 2007 alone, there were 3,323 new green businesses creating 34, 363 green jobs.
- Portland: In 2077, 20,000 green jobs were created in the Oregon city; that’s more than anywhere else in the USA. More than 1% of the state’s 1.9 million jobs are in clean energy, which is the highest percentage in America. Portland is also constantly rated the most sustainable city in the country, with 200 miles of walking and bicycle trails, a free light rail, free parking for electric cars and over 50 LEED-certified buildings.
- Los Angeles: Energy efficiency jobs have boosted 77% in the city of angels. In all of California, green jobs have increased 36%, compared to overall job growth which has only increased 13%. All these jobs are in part due to the green Building Retrofit Ordinance passed in 2009 which said that any building larger than 7,500 square feet or built before 1978 be retrofitted to meet the LEED silver standards.
- Sacramento: This city had the most important green job growth in the entire country from 1995 to 2008. The overall green job market icreased 87% with a 157% increase in air and environment jobs and 141% hike in renewable energy generation jobs. Huge amounts of money are being poured into green businesses and new positions have been created in government and the green tech sector.
- Boston: Along with some of its suburbs, Boston was ranked 4th on Clean Edge’s survey of U.S metro areas for clean-tech jobs. It is home to large companies like Boston Power and A123. It is also an educational hub, housing Harvard, MIT, Boston University and Emerson. The city’s third largest power source is wind and all of its new buildings must be up to LEED standards.
- Detroit: Even though there is a 15% unemployment rate, things are really starting to look up for Detroit. Lots of funds are being poured into hybrid and electric car technologies. It was actually listed as 7th in clean energy jobs by the Pew charitable Trust. Big opportunities await for mechanical engineers who can work on green cars.
- Phoenix: The mayor recently launched a 17 point Green Phoenix plan, wanting to create more green jobs and to make Phoenix the first carbon-neutral city in the country. Phoenix also recently received a 25 million dollar grant from the U.S Department of Energy to launch a project called Energize Phoenix, which will create about 2,700 jobs and the city council just approved the hugest solar project in the city’s history.
- Houston: Be it as it may that the city encompasses two of the most polluting counties in the country, Houston generates thousands of clean energy jobs. In 2008, it was voted the 3rd best city for green jobs and in 2009, it was voted 10th on a list of energy leaders. Since Texas has a lot of experience building huge projects (because of the oil industries predominance), there’s a lot of manpower and expertise to build things like wind farms.
Image courtesy of Creative Commons.
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