While every economy and every ecosystem aches for a focus on green jobs, every place has different capabilities and resources to put toward this end. A committee of people from Iowa Workforce Development, several other state agencies, and Iowa Central College under the direction of the Enterprise Planning Team for Energy and Environment determined that Iowa’s green jobs will predominantly fall into four emerging sectors of the state’s economy.
The committee recognized that the Iowa economy and environment is best-matched to focus on renewable energy production, green building construction and retrofitting, sustainable agriculture and natural resource conservation, and energy efficiency.
Iowa Workforce Development’s Labor Market Information staff received two separate grants for conduction more green economy research. One way they conducted research was to survey 20,000 Iowa employers. Employers were asked to identify critical information about the job designated as “green.” For instance, they were asked to report what percentage of time was actually related to green-related activities. The findings from this research will be released next month.
As some Iowans focus on green jobs, perhaps the entire economy is improving for the better. “The hiring pattern that occurred in March provided further assurance that the Iowa economy is moving the right direction,” said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “State payrolls grew by 11,400 jobs during the first three months of 2011.”