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Green Jobs in the Bluegrass Are Growing

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Sep 16, 2011 09:13 AM

 A recent report on green jobs in Kentucky indicates that green employment in the state is expected to grow at a more rapid pace than the workforce as a whole, with anticipated growth of 6.8% over the next two years.

Excerpts from the executive summary:
 
"The survey indicates that approximately 4.6% of Kentucky’s workforce are performing green jobs. A majority (78%) of the green jobs in Kentucky are full time positions while approximately 9.4% of the organizations in Kentucky include green jobs of some type.

The majority of green jobs in Kentucky are in the Recycling and Waste Reduction core category, followed by Energy Efficiency, then Pollution Reduction and Cleanup. However, the Energy Efficiency and Recycling and Waste Reduction categories appear positioned for the most employment growth in the green core areas in the next two years. 

"While the state’s green workforce is poised for growth, approximately 9% of employers anticipate difficulty in finding qualified candidates to fill positions in the Energy Efficiency."

While the state’s green workforce is poised for growth, approximately 9% of employers anticipate difficulty in finding qualified candidates to fill positions in the Energy Efficiency, while an estimated 6% are anticipating similar challenges in finding qualified candidates... [in other green work areas.]

Certifications can have an impact on an employer’s interest in hiring candidates for green jobs. In making hiring decisions over the next two years, 15% of employers indicated a favorable response to hiring a job candidate with a certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), and 10% of employers cited Build-It Green Certification as increasing the likelihood that they would hire a candidate. On the other hand, a modest 7% of employers stated that they would only hire “already trained” employees for green positions.

The dominant modes of preparing green employees include, in order of employer preference, on-the-job training (79%), in-house classroom (39%), and online training (30%)."

The report was authored by ICF International and the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training.

 

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Clay County, Kentucky resident Randy Wilson ran for the board of his electric cooperative on a platform of affordable energy, better energy choices, and good local jobs in 2009. Randy was the first person to oppose a sitting Jackson Energy board member since the co-op was founded in 1938. Before running for office, Randy was an active member of the Kentuckians For the Commonwealth’s Canary Leadership Network carrying a message throughout the region about the need to transition away from coal and towards clean energy.

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