A closer look at where they are being created and why
In the past decade, corporations have poured billions of dollars into sustainability projects, seeking savings through energy efficiency and pursuing innovation in the field of clean technology. Meanwhile, government agencies have supported environmental initiatives of their own, touting the public benefits of a greener society. But the question remains: how has the green movement impacted the pockets and perspective of the Average American worker? To answer, we focus on case studies in three spheres: green infrastructure, alternative energy, and electrical power. In each of these fields, respectively, the Empire State Building, the Marcellus Shale Region, and the San Francisco Bay Area provide visible examples of sustainability’s powerful capacity to generate well-paying and accessible jobs, even in tough economic times. The comprehensive work on the Empire State Building demonstrates the variety of projects—from window refurbishments to elevator upgrades—involved in green retrofits. Meanwhile, with the natural gas ventures in Marcellus, an entirely new industry has come to life, profoundly affecting the jobs landscape in the region. Finally, the smart grid development in the Bay Area highlights the convergence of manufacturing and industry with new technologies in the field sustainability. As the 2012 Presidential Election heats up, we’re hearing the same questions over and over again: how will the candidates create jobs? What will they do about the unemployment rate? Perhaps encouraging green jobs is part of the answer.