The weakened economy and tight job market can be frightening to servicemembers ready to enter the civilian workforce. However, in spite of the economic turmoil, one career field stands to endure and thrive — the Green Jobs Sector. Prior to the economic meltdown, green-collar jobs were already on track to become one of the nation's fastest growing careers. In fact, the BLS expects environmental careers including ecologists, hydrologists, environmental chemists and others, to grow over the next decade. What's more, Global Insight — a Boston-based global research firm — estimates there are currently 750,000 green jobs in the U.S. economy, with 85 percent of them in metropolitan areas. The jobs are in varied categories including renewable power generation, agriculture, construction, manufacturing, research, consulting, and engineering, among others. And, over the next 30 years, Global Insight projects potential growth of 4.2 million new green jobs assuming a significant increase in electricity generated from renewable resources, investment in energy efficiency in the residential and commercial sectors, and increased production of renewable transportation fuels. "The timing couldn't be any better ... because of everything we're facing in terms of some pretty dire economic news," says Ron Pernick of Clean Edge, co-author of a green jobs study, in a Seattle Post Intelligencer report. However, a dearth of a qualified candidates stands to threaten the success of the green jobs sector. In fact, 73 percent of the business owners/managers surveyed reported a lack of qualified green-collar workers, with a shortage in energy, green building and mechanics, according to a case study funded by the Berkeley, Calif. city council. Transitioning servicemembers and veterans have the skills and qualifications needed to fill these jobs. The majority of green careers are targeted to young workers (ages 18-35), adults without a degree, or people who have been out of the workforce for a long period of time. Additionally, many of these jobs offer on-the-job training and classes. And, the qualifications for most of these jobs are skills that veterans already have, such as: • A sense of responsibility • Positive attitude • Consistent punctuality • A strong work ethic • The ability to work independently and as part of a team. These high-quality jobs offer advancement opportunities, good pay and benefits, and the opportunity to do something good for the earth. The green jobs sector offers servicemembers an opportunity to have a stable job in this unstable economy as well as a chance to positively impact the environment. If you're interested in finding out more about green careers visit Military.com's Job Board to search for green and military-friendly companies.
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