- A group of energy-efficiency organizations has launched an online tool designed to help U.S. workers research career paths in the booming field of green building.
- The interactive Green Buildings Career Map highlights career opportunities in building energy efficiency, with 55 jobs across four industry sectors, as well as over 300 potential advancement routes. It was developed with input from industry subject matter experts to help interested candidates learn about quality jobs related to energy efficiency in buildings.
- The initiative, supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office, was designed to foster a robust and inclusive pipeline of qualified workers to meet employer demand, said Larry Sherwood, CEO of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, one of its developers. "This is crucially important to sustaining the rapid growth of this important industry and ensuring the benefits of employment in this sector are accessible to more people," he said in a release.
Jobs tailored to energy efficiency are some of the fastest-growing in the country, according to the release, and will become increasingly important to meeting climate goals because power and space conditioning for buildings accounts for 40% of all energy use in the U.S.
For workers with a high school education, the map includes 32 "new collar" green jobs — skilled roles that do not require a college degree.
Map developers envision that the tool will be used by a wide range of audiences from job seekers and workers to school and career counselors, training providers, and recruiters. The tool can be used to showcase the variety of advancement opportunities stemming from specific jobs. It is a project of the IREC in partnership with the Building Performance Association (BPA), Community Action Partnership, Home Builders Institute, Building Performance Institute, and National Institute of Building Sciences.
"Now more than ever, workforce development is critical in our industry," said Building Performance Association CEO Steve Skodak in a statement. "BPA recently conducted outreach to over 400 members and discovered that career opportunity awareness and training accessibility is a barrier to industry growth. We hope the Career Map will encourage individuals to consider a career in energy efficiency, highlight well-paying jobs, and reach those in underserved populations."
President Joe Biden's massive infrastructure plan released last week calls for billions of dollars of funding for many types of green and energy-efficient construction, from revamped electric grids to public transit and clean energy projects to bolstered broadband deployment.
"These are investments that leading economists agree will give Americans good jobs now and will pay off for future generations by leaving the country more competitive and our communities stronger," the White House said in a statement.