CSU Commitment to Sustainability

Landmark study on green collar jobs

February 14th, 2008

Green collar workers sort recycled items at the Ecology Center in Berkeley. Green collar workers sort recycled items at the Ecology Center in Berkeley.

“Green collar jobs” has entered the American consciousness in recent months, frequently touted by presidential candidates and local leaders. Professor Raquel Pinderhughes’ latest study demonstrates how the green boom can provide pathways out of poverty for hard-to-employ workers.

“This study shows unequivocally that green collar jobs can provide workers with limited labor market skills with good jobs that can lift them out of poverty,” says Pinderhughes, professor of urban studies at San Francisco State University.

Pinderhughes interviewed the owners and managers of more than 20 Berkeley-based green businesses and found that green collar jobs are highly suitable for people who would typically struggle to find work. Eighty-six percent of the businesses surveyed hire workers with no previous direct experience, and 94 percent provide on-the-job training for employees in entry-level positions.

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