Its not just that I live in Oregon that I choose to post often about its “green” efforts. The state is a national leader for solar energy, and has several key companies located here, from InEnTec to PV Powered. Oregon also has a number of wind farms and biomass facilities.
Would you be surprised, then, if I told you that Oregon leads with green jobs? Across the Northwest, demand for renewable energy is resulting in rising employment opportunities in the green jobs sector.
As reported in The Bulletin, Central Oregon’s primary newspaper, there are some impressive statistics for green jobs in Oregon:
“According to a report released Wednesday by The Pew Charitable Trusts, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit, jobs in the country’s clean-energy sector grew at a rate of 9.1 percent between 1998 and 2007, compared with total job growth of only 3.7 percent in the same period.
In Oregon, the number is greater. According to the report, jobs in Oregon’s clean-energy sector grew at a rate of 50.7 percent between 1998 and 2007, compared with total job growth of 7.5 percent in the same period.”
We’ve blogged about all of the top green employers here in Central Oregon, from Sunlight Solar Energy (200% employee growth in the past 2 years), to Western Community Energy, a wind power company, that recently relocated to Bend from Montana and announced plans to hire more workers (not to mention PV Powered and InEnTec, which are expected to double its employment base, and hire 20 more workers this year, respectively).
Bottom line? Oregon has more jobs in the clean-energy sector than any other state in the nation. Even in 2007, it hosted more than 19,000 green jobs, which comprised over 1% of the total number of employment opportunities here.
So let’s briefly review how to get a green job, and why you may want to live in Oregon to work in the green sector.
Most renewable energy opportunities are offered to people with at least a high school diploma or GED. If you do not have a college degree, it makes sense to get a trade certification from, or simply go back to school at, a community college. Each year, more schools offer training for those wishing to get into green jobs, whether as an engineer, technician, construction worker, or the like.
With a number of community colleges offering courses for those looking to work in solar, wind, geothermal or the like, you’re bound to get a great return on your investment. No time like the present to get the credentials you need for a green job! This is particularly because the federal stimulus funds are expected to really start making a difference in 2010. So, get to school now!
Good green things are happening here in Oregon! With plenty of green jobs, and more on the way, come enjoy the fresh air and abundant career opportunities.