LA Turning Green Collar Jobs from a Buzzword to Reality
Green collar jobs: the elusive key to revitalizing our country’s industrial and manufacturing base while reducing our environmental impact. The term gets bandied about quite often, but the reality is that these types of jobs are rare. And if green collar jobs are going to bring about the American industrial renaissance and create high-quality jobs, all levels of government are going to need to take some steps to encourage and incubate this new sector of the economy.
Los Angeles, more than any other locality, seems to be taking some of these steps. LA Mayor Villaraigosa and some members of the City Council were recently reported to support a proposal for the city’s Department of Water and Power, a public utility that supplies electricity to approximately 3.8 million Los Angelenos, to greatly increase the amount of solar electricity that the agency produces. The proposal has the support of a group called Working Californians, which is led by two high-level officials with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. These groups hope that this solar power initiative would create and support the elusive green collar jobs in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles has also announced its intent to create a “green industrial park” called GreenTech Manufacturing Center. The proposed center would accommodate up to one million square feet of industrial space and would function as a green industry incubator. The city would then offer tax breaks and other financial incentives for businesses located on the site.
The Port of Los Angeles, in it efforts to reduce port-related emissions, is also investing in green technology, which then will lead to green collar jobs. The development of this electric truck was funded in part by the port. The manufacturer of the truck is slated to open a manufacturing plant in LA.