VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers


Green Jobs Serve Many Ends


By Wendy Gordon

A couple of Fridays ago, George Soros, the author of The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Mean, suggested that efforts to build a green economy could be the “motor of the world economy in the years to come.”

I certainly hope so, and hope that it can start here and now. Our economy is in such clear distress, and hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs in the last nine months. Perhaps it is already beginning. In cities and towns around the country, Van Jones, founder and president of Green For All, believes that corporate and civic entrepreneurs are seizing opportunities to revitalize the economy by creating jobs and improving the environment at the same time. Here are a few examples from his book The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems:

* The Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS), hoping to move workers in the Rust Belt into the clean-energy economy, has developed a program to retrofit all of Milwaukee’s buildings and create thousands of green-collar jobs in the process. A new building-efficiency service, Milwaukee Energy Efficiency (Me2), is being created in the process, and there is no upfront payment. You sign up for a retrofit, and when it’s completed you pay it off a little bit at a time as part of your reduced electricity or utility bill.

* Andy Lipkis, founder of TreePeople in Los Angeles, saw an opportunity to solve a major water-runoff problem by building cisterns to capture the rainwater. L.A. officials were so impressed by TreePeople’s demonstration cisterns, which collect, on average, 1.25 million gallons of water for every inch of rainfall, that the city gave the green light to a $200-million cistern project in Sun Valley, a flood-ravaged community mostly populated by low-wage workers. TreePeople predicts about 300 jobs will be created, including manufacturing and installing water-capture systems, adapting landscaping to function as watershed, and maintaining the landscape, trees, berms, cisterns and other elements of the system. Better still, some city sanitation workers will be transformed into watershed managers, a job that takes more time and has more dignity.

* A nonprofit in Baltimore called Second Chance launched its architectural salvage and deconstruction services in 2003. Over the next 4 years, the company grew quickly, filling a 120,000-square-foot warehouse space and engaging more than 50 employees-three deconstruction crews and a retail store crew-all drawn from local low-income neighborhoods. The nonprofit’s founder, Mark Foster, has established contracts with Baltimore that provide for worker-development funds for training. After satisfying the training requirements, workers are guaranteed permanent jobs with company benefits.

Jones provides numerous other examples involving major resource systems–water, energy, food, materials–where rethinking and retooling society can help communities save money and generate new jobs.

With our national deficit in the trillions, and our economy in recession, how can we manage a New Deal-type investment in a green economy? Jones replies, “How can we not?”

It’s an inspiring, empowering book, by a course-changing social entrepreneur. I urge you to read it.


  1. fang
    July 23, 2010, 6:46 am

    we offer ghd hair straighteners online,
    happy shopping mbt shoes
    and cheap nfl jerseys, max 90 and
    air max 95 are hot sell recenltly,
    welcome to come to our website, soccer jerseys for world cup
    and ghd iv styler enjoy much discount

  2. Vicky
    July 20, 2010, 9:39 pm

    Tiffany earrings are wonderful and beautiful. We have discount tiffany earrings for you. tiffany earrings on sale can save your money and bring you fashionable enjoyment.
    welcome to my blog tiffany rings

  3. david
    July 19, 2010, 3:18 am

    Yes, If you have the skills to appreciate and writing implement down down a small number very needed remarks for a person other to chat and you can perform it expeditiously, then dialogue drafting is your cup of tea. The thing with dialogue drafting trades is that, all you have to perform is to assure that your remarks are in unison with the concepts of the speaker for who you are writing, you can get jobs for 16 year olds. It is often put forward that the procedures fir drafting a dialogue are imbibed in very solitary speaker; but in case this is nonexistent, a good dialogue can be organised with a precise journalist for the purpose.

  4. hanlyone
    June 30, 2010, 9:21 pm

    Click “convert” button, Blue Ray to Computer will start to rip blu ray blu ray ripper
    blu ray ripper
    blu ray to avi
    blu ray to wmv
    blu ray to mp4 to computer right now. The whole progress will take you just a few seconds.

  5. floorganics
    June 28, 2010, 1:05 pm

    The creation of jobs, especially in the green industry, will pay off in spades in the future. The more we can further the green industry and develop new products to help our planet, the better off we will all be in the future.
    Natural Carpet
    “Saving the environment never looked so good”

  6. John
    June 24, 2010, 7:16 am

    Guess these initiatives would help us to start many new green jobs. People would be surely benefited.
    san Francisco movers

  7. joup
    June 18, 2010, 4:31 am

    sawesfd sfdrv Links of London jewellery at online links of london store,links of london, links of london sweetie bracelet, links of london bracelet, link of london limited edition
    links of london
    links london
    links of london charms
    Links of London Jewelry online store. Buy cheap Links of London jewellery at CooLinks UK store, including Links of London.
    tiffany jewelry
    Choose, buy and shop for on sale tiffany jewelry including Tiffany & Co Silver Necklace, Pendants, Bangles, Bracelets, Earrings, Rings and Accessories.
    tiffany co
    tiffany and co
    UK Tiffany Jewellery Sale Outlet provides designer Tiffany Ring, necklaces and other jewelry in wholesale price. UK Tiffany specializes in
    Tiffany Bracelets,
    tiffany jewellery

  8. Linda
    May 25, 2010, 3:31 pm

    The idea of building water saving cisterns is highly appreciated. The non-profit deconstruction service is again a big deal. I welcome many creative ideas as these from Jones.
    Chicago Movers

  9. jake
    April 17, 2010, 3:19 am

    Soros did not write “The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Mean”. He stole it
    rude jokes