Efforts to address the challenges of persistently high unemployment and long-term climate change by creating green jobs for low-skilled workers will require significant industry transformation, an examination of a initiative finds.
The report, (131 pages, PDF), examined the initiative, a three-year effort launched by Rockefeller in 2009 to advance the knowledge, innovation, standards, and institutions necessary to catalyze growth in the green economy and stimulate demand for green jobs, with a focus on the building energy-retrofit market, storm water infrastructure, and solid waste management. Conducted by , the evaluation found that the construction, water management, waste management, and capital finance industries have long-standing institutions and practices that make green-job projects difficult to scale.
The report also found that current political, economic, and labor conditions make bold national policies and investments unlikely. Indeed, even if green industry-building activities were scaled, they might not lead to many job placements, given the lack of hiring agreements and industry reticence. While place- and sector-specific projects may help to create jobs in the short term, the importance of local factors may prevent replication in other communities. The report also found that widespread availability of private and public financing options is essential for ongoing support of green services, technologies, and infrastructure.
The report's authors concluded that for SEGUE to make a significant impact on the disadvantaged communities it is designed to serve, industry needs to support a green jobs pathway that is more manageable and easily monitored and evaluated than those that exist.