Kansas Increases 'Green Collar' Jobs
Kansas employers have more than 20,000 green jobs and expect to have more than 30,000 such jobs by 2012, according to results from the state’s first-ever survey to identify and measure green jobs based on information from Kansas employers.
Lt. Gov. Troy Findley, Kansas Labor Secretary Jim Garner and Commerce Secretary Bill Thornton released the results of the Kansas Going Green Survey on May 18.
According to the survey of more than 6,000 Kansas employers, the majority of the state’s green jobs are in the area of energy efficiency, while the area expected to see the largest increase in jobs over the next few years is renewable energy. A green job is defined as one that produces a green product or provides a green service in one of the following five core green-related areas: producing renewable energy, increasing energy efficiency, agriculture and natural resource conservation, pollution prevention and environmental cleanup, and clean transportation and fuels.
“We’ve long contended that there was great potential for Kansas in the green economy,” said Lt. Gov. Findley. “This survey puts measurable data behind those contentions and bears out the optimism we have for building green employment in Kansas.”
The green-related areas expected to experience the largest increase in job growth over the next two to three years are Renewable Energy – 121 percent, Energy Efficiency – 57 percent, and Clean Transportation and Fuels – 37 percent.
“This survey is important for a lot of reasons, but primarily because it sets a benchmark for our efforts to grow the state’s green economy,” said Secretary Garner. “This gives us our first good look at the areas of the green economy where we have jobs today and where we’re likely to grow jobs in the future.”
While a portion of the green jobs identified in the survey are considered new or emerging, a much larger portion stem from traditional occupations. Current occupations that require a new set of green knowledge, skills or abilities are considered green jobs. Given this, the survey attempted to establish the current and projected demand among employers for green skills and knowledge.
“The survey shows clearly that the future demand for green skills and knowledge is significantly greater than the current demand,” Secretary Thornton said. “That is good information to have as we consider future training efforts.”
The survey was conducted in 2009 with just more than 6,000 Kansas employers. A statistically reliable response rate of 55 percent was achieved. Copies of the report can be found on the Kansas Department of Labor website.