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  • Employment: Is it Looking Green or Brown?

    [caption id="attachment_3027" align="alignleft" width="407" caption="WIll The Jobs Be Coming From Renewable Energy?"]green[/caption]

     

    Tonight, President Obama will be discussing his plans for creating more jobs in America. In his first months as President, Obama said the focus on creating more jobs would come from green solutions and alternative energy solutions...the next big wave to hit America. Time Magazine dug a little deeper as they explore the question everyone is going to be asking themselves, "Where will these jobs come from?"

    Nathan Chan is the ideal worker for the new green economy. He graduated last year from the California Institute of Technology with a double degree in environmental engineering and English literature. From there he went to Columbia University, where he's finishing up a master's in public administration with a focus on the environment. Chan, 23, has interned for the Audubon Society, calculating the venerable nonprofit's carbon footprint, and he's probably forgotten more math and science than the average environmentalist ever knew. "I want to align my life and my career with my ideals," he says. Only one thing is missing for Chan: that green job.

    Chan was one of some 1,300 students who trekked to Columbia's Low Library on Mar. 6 for an Ivy League Environmental and Sustainable Career Fair — twice the number who attended last year, according to organizers. But while the popularity of the packed fair was a sign that not even Ivy Leaguers are immune from job worries in this recession, it also signaled that green jobs — which include everything from solar panel installers to EPA administrators — could be a rare bright spot for employment. "The jobs are really coming in this field," says Karen Marcus, a "green niche coach" who was advising applicants at the Columbia fair. "We're finally mainstreaming the green career. We're on the cusp of opportunity." (See TIME's photos: "This Fragile Earth")

    A lot of people — including President Obama — certainly hope so. Obama made green jobs a cornerstone of his economic platform as a candidate and as President; his stimulus package includes $500 million for green job-training programs, along with billions in loan guarantees for green industries. "At a time when good jobs and good wages are harder and harder to come by. it is critical we find new and innovative work opportunities for middle class families," Vice President Joseph Biden said at the launch of the White House's Task Force on Middle Class Families on Feb. 27. "That's why we're here today — to learn and listen about how investing in green jobs can help build a strong middle class."

    Read more at Time
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