The “green collar” economy

You’ve probably noticed a new green term being bandied about – “green collar” jobs. Many “blue collar” jobs have been replaced by machinery and computers, and many “white collar” jobs have been shipped overseas. This morning I spent half an hour going in circles with the Macy*s credit department – a call center in India (I am not guessing, I asked, and they confirmed). Every rep I talked to (it took three phone calls) could barely hear me over the phone altho I could hear them just fine. I changed phones and it was the same and I told them to adjust their head set. The poor guy told me he was using a handset, can you imagine? Ouch. So I yelled louder and decided they couldn’t really hear me because there is a very large ocean between us. It was a damn frustrating experience. I won’t be shopping at Macy*s anymore.

One of the bright spots in our current economic outlook is the creation of jobs for a new generation, being referred to as “green collar” jobs. They’re supposed to be recession proof and also can’t be shipped overseas – face it, the need to save the Earth is not going away anytime soon, and every region has its own environmental challenges, and you can’t fix a Pacific Northwest water quality or energy source problem in a call center in India. A-MEN FOR THAT.

The Bainbridge Graduate Institute has an MBA for Sustainable Business. There is a whole “Green Careers and Education” section in the 700s area of the booths at this weekend’s green festival 08 at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle. There are also a number of speakers that will touch on the greening of our economy scattered throughout the program.

South Seattle Community College also announced a certification program for Residential Energy Auditing. See the online flyer here. I called the Georgetown Campus over a week ago when I got an email from my local DON (Department of Neighborhoods) connection, but they never managed to email me the link for the flyer and I forgot about it until someone mentioned it thru one of the environmental meetup groups I am in this morning. The class starts next Tuesday evening, and runs Tue/Thu thru the end of May. If you take this class you will be a player in the forefront of our new local green economy. It’s a national certification, so you can take it with you if you move, just like any other degree. More power to you!! (Pun intended…yuk yuk)

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