Green Jobs for Women Roundtable
08 December 2009
Getting plugged in & connected to the green marketplace
“Energy efficiency is hot and sexy” was the quote of the day nearly 100 women gathered at CCSE’s Energy Resource Center for the green jobs for women roundtable in November.
In industries that were once typically dominated by male engineers, architects, facility managers, installers and builders, there are now opportunities for women as these job fields go green, according to Irene Stillings, CCSE executive director. She recalled a time when the only professional jobs available to women were in the fields of teaching, nursing and dental hygiene, but pointed out that those days are “thankfully gone.”
The roundtable panel brought together women who are experts in areas of green job training, education, labor and workforce development to share their technical and educational experiences with the group. Many attendees were looking to gain information about how to get a job in the burgeoning green industries, who they should network with and how to establish a successful green career pathway.
Panelist Sandra Moreland, an industry training specialist at the San Diego Workforce Partnership, made it clear that there are many new opportunities for women and that many of them are “good jobs with great pay.” Jobs range from sales, marketing and consulting to auditing, project management and more. Moreland said that if women were willing to think outside of the box, the list of job possibilities would be endless, as new green career positions continue to evolve.
The panelists spoke about training and certification programs available through a number of education and training institutions. Organizations such as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and San Diego State University (SDSU) offer classes for a variety of technical fields. Jennifer Lewis of Cuyamaca College shared a comprehensive list of green courses now offered at the El Cajon campus.
One area of discussion was options for becoming a certified green professional. Some in the room were LEED certified, for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which is a well-known green building rating system and is widely recognized in the building industry. LEED can be obtained through the U.S. Green Building Council.
Another professional option is HERS, which stands for Home Energy Rating System, an auditing standard that is an important element of evaluating energy efficiency. HERS certification can be obtained through the California Home Energy Efficiency Rating Services, CalCerts and California Building Performance Contractors Associations. There are other organizations, such as Build it Green, that also offer rating programs for green professionals.
Panelists stressed the need for women to get plugged in and stay connected by joining green social groups such as the U.S. Green Building Council, the American Institute of Architects, the San Diego Regional Sustainability Partnership and the San Diego Renewable Energy Society. Other resources, such as CCSE’s Green Career Network, are available online to assist women in designing and choosing the right green career.
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