Like many states, Iowa is in the process of fleshing out its own green economy. A collaborative effort is under way to identify and define emerging industries and occupations that directly address environmental concerns. Classifying new occupations and job title is the first step in establishing training or an apprenticeship programs in new technology. This collaboration brings together members of several state agencies, educational institutions, and other work-force development professionals, who will lay the foundation and put a face on the new green economy. In 2008 a committee was formed, which included staff members of the Iowa Workforce Development(IWD), Iowa Central Collge, and other organizations. They have isolated four emerging sectors in the states’ economy where job growth is expected.
These four sectors include:
- Renewable Energy Production
- Green building construction and Retrofitting
- Sustainable Agriculture and Natural resource Conservation
- Energy Efficiency
This list was used as a basis for data collection and analysis. More detailed definitions and guidelines will be provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Employment and Training Administration of the Department of Labor. As IWD continues to research green economy activities in the state, within the last year, the organization has received two separate grants funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. A total of $1,172,614 was awarded for a Single State Proposal and $533,000 was given as part of an interstate grant that includes six states (Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming). Both grants require the delivery of green economy data based on IWD research. The most important component will be a sample survey of 20,000 Iowa employers that will intrepet the current and future demand for green jobs in the state. Questions will be asked concerning:
Green Job Titles
Duties And Tasks
Training And Educational Requirements
The results of this survey will be available in May 2011. Another component of the interstate grant was a conference hosted by the Northern Plains and Rocky Mountain Consortium. The conference, entitled Researching the Green Economy, was held on April 19-20, 2011 at the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel.The purpose of the conference was to explore the most up-to-date information on green sector activities. Opening remarks will be provided by Teresa Wahlert, Director of Iowa Workforce Development and Debi Durham, Director of The Iowa Department of Economic Development. The conference covered a wide variety of topics including renewable energy, green construction, new and emerging green technologies, green job training, and in jobs related to green sector occupations.
Do you think that idenification and data collection are an important step the development of new occupations?