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Preparing for CA’s Jobs of a Different “Collar”

March 31, 2008

Sacramento, CA – We've heard of blue-collar and white-collar jobs, but California is preparing for a new look -- the "green-collar" job. The California Senate is considering a package of bills that would invest in renewable energy projects while, at the same time, creating new employment opportunities.

One bill (SB 1672) would provide career and technical education for high school and community college students who are interested in fields such as renewable energy and clean technology. Bruce Saito, with the L.A. Conservation Corps, says the goal is to help prepare youth for the next generation of jobs.

"It's not only supporting those environmental issues, but at the same time, it's providing these job training opportunities, and what better way but to apply them for 'green' industry?"

As the state wrestles with a budget deficit, Saito realizes passing these measures may be difficult. However, he believes doing so would actually help stimulate the economy.

"These job training opportunities are going to provide employment opportunities, so a lot of good could happen."

Saito explains green-collar jobs include everything from installing solar panels and roofs, to building wind turbines, to weatherizing homes and businesses. If approved by the legislature, California voters would then vote on the plans as bond measures.

More information is available online, at www.lacorps.org; SB-1672 also can be viewed online, at www.sen.ca.gov.

Lori Abbott/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - CA