I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
What is a green job?
In the news we hear a lot about the potential of a new "green economy" developing that will not only save the planet, but also produce new manufacturing jobs for displaced American workers. But rarely do we hear specific details about what exactly constitutes a "green" job or a "green" industry.
A new report, "The Albuquerque Metropolitan Statistical Area’s “Green” Sector: Current Scale and Future Possibilities" was released yesterday by two local non-profits, New Mexico Youth Organized and the 1Sky New Mexico campaign, analyzing the Albuquerque metropolitan economy in terms of its current "green" status and where it has potential to grow. It defines what makes a job or an industry "green," and makes suggestions for how Albuquerque policy makers might pursue expanding in this area.
The report defines the meaning of "green" in this context as "an industry, employer, and/or occupation …if it improves, or supports the improvement of, a given industry’s or activity’s negative anthropogenic environmental impacts compared to the status quo in the given industry or activity."
In other words, it’s green if it lessens the negative human impacts on the environment of a given industry or activity.
And Albuquerque is well-suited to compete in a growing national green economy, the report says, because of three factors: "Albuquerque’s technology resources are strong; political will is demonstrated and committed; and the business climate is one of the nation’s best."
This 15-page report offers a concise narrative loaded with details about the current green economic landscape in Albuquerque.
It also emphasizes the need to invest in local workforce training to ensure that the current and growing public investment in green industry benefits those who live here now.
“This report shows that if we don’t prepare for the ‘green’ wave, Albuquerque and New Mexico will be left behind,” Keegan King, director of NMYO, said in a press release. “Our City has the potential to lead the country in ‘green’ manufacturing and ‘green’ technology development but only with investment and a workforce to support it.”
The Green Sectors report highlights the need to gear training toward those who are most economically disadvantaged. In this respect, the report links public investment with raising the wages of the lower-income populations in the state. And it also provides concrete proposals for how to pursue that goal.
In addition to emphasizing a comprehensive job training program and other recommendations, the report also suggests the city create green rating system for business activity, similar to green building standards developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.