Just What Is a “Green” Job?

Tait Trussell is a national award-winning writer, former vice-president of the American Enterprise Institute and former Washington correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.


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The Inspector General wanted answers to these questions:

l. How has the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) defined green jobs?

2. What is the status of funds expended and how have grant funds been used?

3. To what extent have performance targets for training and placement been achieved?

The definition ETA used for green jobs was those associated with renewable energy and natural resources. The report of the Inspector general, released Sept. 30 included grantee’s reported data as of June 30, 2011, (latest available) for grants awarded for training and placement from December 2009 to January 2013.

“Not all green jobs so defined are new or unique occupations; some build on existing occupations,” the Inspector General’s report said.

Of the approximately $500 million provided to ETA, three training programs were awarded. Grantees reported spending 33 percent of the amounts awarded with 73 percent of the grant time elapsed.

Failure continued. Grantees reported serving 42 percent of the targeted participants and placing only 10 percent into jobs. And the effort has slowed. The Inspector General report said: “There is no evidence that grantees will effectively use the funds…by the end of the grant periods (2013).” Any of the millions not needed “should be recouped as soon as practicable.”

Training grantees reported only 1,336 participants “retained employment for at least six months, or 2 percent of the targeted 69,717 participants. “ETA could not demonstrate that grantees were on target to meet grant outcomes, nor was there a plan to ensure that they could,” the report continued.

“Not all green jobs so defined are new or unique occupations…For example, existing skills are modified to prepare workers for careers in the energy efficiency, renewable energy sectors and for other [supposed] green jobs such as power plant operators; electrical engineers; heating, ventilating and air conditioning mechanics; and installers; roofers, and construction managers.”

Examples of the breadth of occupations and tasks pertaining to what the government considers as green jobs include such tasks as: structural retrofitting and repair, collection of vegetable oil, operating a forklift, and reading product work orders.

The roughly $500 million authorized for the Labor Department training programs may, or may not, be typical in the embarrassing failures.

But the Administration doesn’t exactly have a host of successes to point to in its scramble even to be able to describe accurately what  a green job is.

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  • Chezwick_mac

    What is a green job?

    A green job is like Big Foot, the Loch Ness monster, or a GENUINE Muslim reformer….nothing but a figment of our fertile imaginations.

  • Ken

    Don't forget the Yeti, mac!! LOL

  • velmaellis

    So how can you get in on this expansion of the clean, mean and "green" industries? By getting a "green" job that pays handsomely, of course you need a degree from universities like "High Speed Universities".

    • wsk

      First you must go to an Internet only college. Once you "graduate", then you join a union. Then the mney comes pouring in by the bucketload.

  • kafir4life

    The President's Fast & Furious is considered a "green" program. Here's how it works.
    1.) The President earns commissions on each gun sold. Puts "green" in his coffers.
    2.) Each time an Obama brand gun is used (as in the case of the border patrol agent), the carbon footprint of the individual(s) on the open end of the transaction is removed from the planet. The younger the open end of the transaction is when the transaction occurs, the larger the positive effect on the planet.

    In 458 days, this national nightmare will come to a close.

  • Rifleman

    I saw somewhere this week that by their own estimates, the executive branch's green jobs training program is 10% effective. If it was a weapons program they would have eliminated it by now.

  • StephenD

    Actually, working at a gas station can be considered a "Green Job" as can organic farmers who re-use dung, or a ditch digger that digs a trench to re-use run off storm water for irrigation. Essentially anything that touches on energy use can narrowly fit the definition of a "green job."
    So, where is the money set aside for training? What training has it been spent on?
    Not to worry, Joe Bidden is busy yelling about the money that police need and how the evil Republicans are trying to deny them. A simple solution is to consider that the police clean the crap from the streets and then it gets recycled back out. That could be considered a green job! Hey, it's as a good a definition as the Feds have now!