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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Green jobs ready to bloom as spring nears; job fair March 27

From an article by Jessica Steinhoff in The Shepard Express:

The time to green your resume is now.

The federal Green Jobs Act got a $500 million boost from the economic stimulus package and is expected to train 70,000 workers in renewable-energy and energy-efficiency jobs. Plus, a floundering economy is nudging companies to hire employees to design and implement energy-savings plans and other cost-saving measures.

Wisconsin Environment Director Dan Kohler is pleased with the strategy for building a greener workforce—particularly on the state and local levels. “The federal recovery plan includes significant funding to help states design educational programs to get workers moving ahead in the green economy,” he says.

In Wisconsin, universities, technical colleges and government and community workforce-development agencies will all play a role in the training effort. Gov. Jim Doyle’s global-warming task force has been helping these institutions team up with the private sector to develop a comprehensive training strategy that will address job seekers with a variety of different skill sets. Meanwhile, local colleges are rushing to design courses and curricula in a wide variety of green disciplines, from sustainable operations management to water technology.

Though a full graduate-level program is still in the works, UW-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences is offering courses in freshwater ecosystem health and a variety of other topics.

At Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), there’s a comprehensive selection of green career paths, including new programs in environmental and water technology, sustainable operations, and energy engineering. There are also numerous opportunities for people to add green credentials to their existing skill set at Lakeshore Technical College, Gateway Technical College and MATC.
The Wisconsin Renewable Energy Summit at the Midwest Airline Center includes a career/jobs day on March 27. Schools and other training organizations, as well as employers, will be set up in the exhibition hall.

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