Green-Collar Jobs

by Louisa May

Green collar jobsWhat does actor and environmentalist Robert Redford have in common with Leo Gerard, President of United Steelworkers of America and Regis McKenna, founder of a high – tech marketing firm in Silicon Valley?
They are all Board members Of Apollo Alliance, a coalition of business, labor, environmental groups, and community leaders.

Former California State Treasurer Phil Angelides is the Chairman of the Board at Apollo Alliance, where the vision is big.

Their mission is to “catalyze a clean energy revolution in America, to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, cut the carbon emissions that are destabilizing our climate, and expand opportunities for American businessmen and workers.” It’s about clean, renewable energy, it’s about jobs, and it’s about time.

According to a global opinion poll that was released November 19, 2008, many people all over the world want their governments to move faster in using renewable resources, even if it means higher utility costs.The poll was conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, and twenty one nations responded.

One of the questions asked was: Should your country put more emphasis on solar/ wind?

A sampling of “yes” responses:

United States – 87%
France – 88%
Italy – 88%
Russia – 50%
India – 62%
South Korea – 89%

To the question, Should we use more alternative energy even if it increases cost, the “yes” responses were high:

United States – 66%
UK – 75%
India – 63%
Russia – 36%
France – 88%
South Korea – 96%

Renewable energy translates into jobs, green – collar jobs. What’s a green – collar job? According to Phil Angelides at Apollo Alliance, a green – collar job benefits the environment by reducing waste and pollution. It offers a real career path with upward mobility, and it pays enough to support a family. These jobs will not be restricted to just the technology field, but will be opening up in the industrial sector as well.

The United Steelworkers of America support Apollo Alliance because they see green-collar jobs in industry as a means to keep manufacturing going strong in this country. Phil Angelides is also calling for three hundred billion dollars to be invested in green-collar jobs over the next ten years.
Big vision needs big money, and one solar energy company is leading the way. OptiSolar is an independent power producer committed to making solar energy competitive with other forms of electricity. OptiSolar is building a new plant in Sacramento, California which will begin manufacturing solar panels in 2009. When the plant is fully built out, the one million square foot plant will be the largest photovoltaic solar manufacturing plant in North America. This plant alone will provide over one thousand green-collar jobs and produce approximately two thousand solar panels a day.
This is a great start, and may be what we need to get our economy going again.

If Apollo Alliance and the recent global opinion poll are indicators, citizens around the world are ready for real change.

Check out our Green Pages for information on money saving tips that help the environment. Once there, click on the Green Forum for more articles by feature writer Louisa May.

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