Green jobs, good jobs? It's up to us.

Authors: yvonne Green jobs are good jobs, found a new report by PayScale and Clean Edge. With median salaries spanning $36,100 a year for an insulation worker to $112,000 a year for design engineering managers, the jobs researched were all “very reasonably paid,” according to Al Lee, director of quantitative analysis at PayScale, an online compensation data company. For workers without high levels of formal education, green jobs are especially rewarding. With only a high school diploma or associates degree, for example, a solar-energy system installer or solar fabrication technician can receive up to $40,000 a year. Green jobs also continue to grow in the midst of an economic downturn. While traditional manufacturing companies are laying off workers and shutting down factories, green manufacturing plants are sprouting up to power a clean energy economy. But we can’t assume that new green jobs will inherently be good for workers, just because they are good for the environment. Instead, we need to write quality standards into the law, standards that ensure family-supporting wages, workplace safety, career opportunities, and access for local workers. A Senate Subcommittee on Green Jobs report from earlier this year drives that message home. It found low pay in clean energy jobs, particularly in wind, solar, green construction, and recycling. But the Senate has the unique opportunity to tackle this challenge, and so far has risen to the task. The first draft of the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, currently in the U.S. Senate, creates standards for new jobs in the clean-energy economy through two provisions that Green For All fought for: the Green Construction Careers Demonstration Project and funding for the Green Jobs Act . These provisions will expand access and opportunity in the clean-energy economy, and ensure that new jobs in green construction meet quality standards. Read more about the reports at the New York Times Green Inc. Blog.

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