Do “green-collar” jobs promise a better future for Bay Area youth?

If you have a moment, check out a story by Tribune reporter Barbara Grady about an Oakland-based green business movement. A new program called the Oakland Green Jobs Corps aims to connect youth in the poorest of neighborhoods with apprenticeships and entry-level jobs that start at $10.39 an hour plus health benefits. 


Area solar companies, such as SolarCity (Foster City) and Borrego Solar (Berkeley), say they plan to hire dozens of workers in the next year. Green construction, biodesel and wind-energy companies discussed similar, though more modest, plans.

Do you think the growing number of corporate initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and waste (while, of course, turning a profit) will, in fact, lead to hundreds of new, steady jobs for unskilled or semi-skilled workers? If so, what role do/should schools play in preparing students for the green industry, or at least connecting them to potential jobs?

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Nextset

    An honest job for entry level people is a fantastic thing. If it doesn’t pan out long term it will lead to something else. We need lot’s more of these efforts!

  • Sue

    This sounds great!

    It reminds me of Youth Conservation Corps, YCC. I spent the summer before my senior year of high school working in Yosemite on various environmental/ecological projects, and I benefited so much from doing physical labor, as well as learning what it takes to have, and keep, a real job. Getting my first paychecks felt so good, a huge step towards becoming a grown-up.

    I’d love for my autistic son to have an opportunity like this, although this program’s priority isn’t employment for those with disabilities, so I don’t know if it could happen for him.

    Still, it’s happening for other people who need job skills, and that’s good for everyone in Oakland.