With the help of billions of dollars in private investment and local and state government incentives, the alternative energy industry, solar in particular, has exploded in California, resulting in thousands of new solar panel installation and solar cell production jobs, the East Bay Express reports.
Because of this, nonprofit vocational training programs have begun in urban areas around the country. Among the most visible is Oakland’s non-profit Ella Baker Center. Another, Solar Richmond, has been operating for a year on a small budget.
Energy coalition group Oakland Apollo Alliance, together with the Ella Baker Center, has drafted the details of the much-anticipated Oakland Green Jobs Corps program, which it plans to launch this fall, San Francisco alternative weekly BeyondChron reports.
Ella Baker Center founder Van Jones has pointed out that the program will create green-collar jobs for the same community that is being targeted for 200 MW of fossil fuel-burning power plants in a low-income neighborhood that is already overburdened with pollution and toxic sites. The San Francisco Board of Advisors is expected to vote on those power plant contracts today.
A report from the American Solar Energy Society showed that as many as 1 out of 4 workers in the United States will be working in the renewable energy or energy efficiency industries by 2030.