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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. 

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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.