Kupu’s annual Environmental Fair provides members of the Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps (HYCC) with the opportunity to network

Kupu Environmental Fair Image 1024x682 300x199 C4Photo courtesy of Kupu. Hawaii’s future green workforce is in the works.

Today, at ING Direct Cafe in Waikiki, Kupu is holding its annual Environmental Fair for Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps members from across Hawaii. There, the youth will get to network and learn of opportunities in “green” careers as they complete their training week and begin a summer full of invasive species removal, trail building, and more.

The Blue Planet Foundation, Pono Pacific, Rewarding Internships for Sustainable Employment (RISE), and Hawaii Energy are expected to be on hand.
If you haven’t heard of Kupu, it’s a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to empowering young adults to serve their communities through character building, service learning and environmental stewardship opportunities. Kupu is also the home organization to youth training programs, including HYCC.
Kupu is recruiting youth ages 17 to 24 for its Fall Urban Corps program. Applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis until July 1.
Kupu in Hawaiian means “to sprout, grow, germinate, or increase,” and takes inspiration from the kupukupu fern, which is one of the first plants to spring back after a lava flow.

Speaking of green jobs, Jeffrey Matsu, lead researcher of the Hawaii Green Jobs Initiative at the state labor department says the green economy in Hawaii is “positioned to grow rapidly” in the latest issue of the Hawaii Employment Guide.

The state estimates there are about 11,145 “green” jobs in Hawaii, with an additional 2,903 expected to come online by 2012, according to a recent study. The study defined a “green job” as: “one that engages in economic activity that makes a positive impact on the environment or energy sustainability, either on a full- or -part-time basis.”
There’s also a green jobs website now – www.GreenJobsHawaii.org.

Speaking of jobs, Re-use Hawaii is hiring for the following part-time and full-time positions: warehouse manager, customer service/salvage specialist, deconstruction crew, and deconstruction project developer. Email info@reusehawaii.org with “green jobs” in the subject line for more information.

7 Careers for Green-Hearted Creative Types

green c 2011 C4If you have a creative streak and a passion for the environment, then you are in luck career-wise. Sustainability centers are popping up around the world, and eco-tourism is really taking off. This give syou the chance to use your powers of creativity to educate others on the importance of saving the planet.


Use the power of music to promote a green message. Think Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” and Cake’s “Too Much Carbon Monoxide.” Not only can you put the importance of saving the planet in your lyrics, but you can also model a green lifestyle as you travel. Singer and songwriter Jack Johnson is a perfect example of a creative environmental activist. When he does his concert tours, he travels in bio-fuel buses. He also sells eco-friendly merchandise.

Graphic Artists

If you have a talent for design and want to support environmental preservation, then you have several options at your fingertips. You can specialize in art that promote environmental messages. You can design logos and ads for companies focused on going green. You can also design eco-friendly t-shirts promoting a green message. Work with natural brushes and dyes to further your cause.


This is an exciting period for architects. New materials, new designs, and eco-friendly products are on the market in more abundance than ever before. Whether you plan to build a solar domain or work with recycled materials, there is an increasing interest in sustainable architecture.

Landscape Designer

Many creative people find solid careers in landscaping. This is the perfect career for someone who truly loves the environment. A landscaper is in charge of planning, creating, and maintaining environments. The landscaper works to create a seamless picture with pants, trees, architecture, and furniture. There are different types of landscape designers. Some work in parks and other large areas; others focus more on dwellings. Some landscapers even specialize in urban landscapes, creating environmental designs for skyscrapers and offices- you can even go so far as to be more concentrated in floral design to deal strictly with floral arrangements instead of full landscapes.


There’s nothing quite like the power of the written word. Writers with a love of nature can use their talents to spread the word about nature through books and articles. Whether your forte is fiction or non-fiction, you can share the importance of taking care of the environment with your readers.


Just like writers, painters can raise public awareness regarding nature by using their talents. Check out some of the work by John James Audubon to see how. When people see the beauty of nature, they are more inclined to connect to it, which creates an interest in preserving it.


Grab your camera and make an impact on the world. The Kratt brothers are great examples of filmmakers that bring nature right to the living room. They capture the beauty and wildness of nature, and they show viewers how to help protect the environment. Whether you are filming the life-cycle of a moth or showing the environmental impact of pollution on Earth, film can be a powerful tool for relaying messages.

There are many great careers for green-hearted creative types. You can even mix-and-match careers. Just keep the creative juices flowing. by Andrew G. Rosen

Navigating the Emotional Side of Your Green Job Search

going green 300x199 C4

Carol McClelland, PhD, author of Green Careers For Dummies

There’s a very tactical side to any job search. Figuring out the best strategies to uncover contacts and job openings becomes your main focus. There’s also an emotional side to any job search. Though rarely discussed, this often hidden component of every job search has the potential to derail one’s job search.

No matter how you look at it, a job search is a difficult time of change.

• In the past – you are looking back at what you’ve left behind. No matter what the scenario, there’s a sense of loss as you close the door.

• You’ve been forced to leave a job and team you enjoyed.

• You’ve been asked to leave a job you didn’t like, but you weren’t quite ready to leave

• You’ve chosen to leave a position for personal reasons.

• You’ve had to leave a position due to a change in another part of your life.

• In the future – you are facing the unknown. Where will you work? What will you do? Who will hire you? Every where you turn there’s another question you can’t really answer. Uncomfortable. Unnerving.

At perhaps the deepest point in your own job transition, you must put your very best foot forward to network, interview, and land a job. A task that is difficult even when you are at your best!

A few pointers if you are in the midst of a difficult job transition.

• Acknowledge that change is afoot. Don’t attempt to stuff your emotions and just get on with it! Even if your emotions are buried deep within you, they will leak out in ways you may not see because you are so busy keeping up the appearance that you are “fine.”

• Resist the temptation to rush into a new position when you aren’t clear about what you want. If you land a position at this stage, it’s likely that it will be a short-lived success. What wasn’t working in your previous position probably won’t work in this position either. Better to clarify what will truly work for you so that you can find a position that is a good fit for you.

• Immediately after your shift, take some time to figure out your direction. Reflect on where you’ve been and where you want to go so you have a clear direction for your way forward.

• Don’t assume that continuing in the same career path is the right move. If you are feeling like you “should” get the same kind of job as before, take some time to figure out if that’s really true. It may be that your best path is to take a new direction. Listen.

• If you are holding a lot of emotions about your situation, find a way to feel and move through the pain. It’s not easy, but you can heal. It may help to work with someone to help you find closure and be able to move forward without the baggage that’s that holding you back right now.

• You may find that stepping into new situations is stressful. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, you may be feeling fairly vulnerable due to your emotions. Second, you literally are stretching yourself in new ways. Be compassionate with yourself and you’ll build your confidence again.

One day you’ll wake up with a new sense about you! You’ll feel clear, energetic, and ready to go.

Unfortunately there’s no short cut to reach this place. The key is to work with, rather than against, each phase of your transition. As you gain clarity about your direction, you’ll naturally feel a quickening of new energy and clarity.

The Wrong Debate on Green Jobs

 C4The Wrong Debate on Green Jobs
by Andrew Winston

Winston Andrew 254x300 C4In the heated debates about climate change and the clean tech economy, it’s hard to avoid a discussion about whether green jobs are “real” or if they can replace traditional fossil-fuel jobs. On one side, think tanks like Center for American Progress issue reports on the potential for creating millions of new jobs as we build the clean economy. With a different perspective, the forces aligned against climate action often create a false trade-off between economy and environment. They make the argument that doing anything to tackle climate change, like putting a price on carbon, will destroy oil, gas, and coal jobs in particular. But this debate is moot on two counts.

First, we’re not facing a choice between the growth of old economy jobs and the expansion of new energy jobs, but between decline and prosperity. One global economy, the clean one, is growing, and the global battle for the new jobs is on. Some countries – such as China, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and many others – are going after these jobs aggressively. The other part of the economy – the dead fuel economy – is not going to be a growth engine (with the important exception of natural gas, which may provide a useful, medium-term bridge to the future). Oil is basically at peak production globally, and coal plants are nearly impossible to build in the U.S. anymore. Even as the world demands more energy, and even as fossil fuel production continues, these companies will continue to get more efficient with labor. So don’t count on the fossil guys to create new wealth and jobs.

So the choice is between a growing industry and a flat or shrinking one. That means it doesn’t really matter if the growth area is growing fast enough to “replace” the old one or not – we have to go after that growth no matter how big it is. But, second, and more importantly, we’ve been talking about the new economy jobs entirely the wrong way. Admit it, what do you picture when you hear the phrase “green jobs”? Mainly solar installers and wind turbine mechanics, right? In a recent, skeptical Newsweek article, the author laments that “green-tech workers – people who do things like design and build wind turbines or solar panels – now make up only 0.6 percent of the American workforce.” When described this way, pursuing green jobs doesn’t seem like much of an economic growth plan.

Those clearly defined green jobs do lie at the core of this new world, and they are in fact growing fast, sometimes literally replacing what came before. A famous GM auto plant will soon be pumping out electric Teslas, for example. And remember how sustainable building materials company Serious Materials took over a Kensington Windows plant that was closing and re-hired the laid off employees – this was one of the few bright spot stories from deep within the recession.

But there are more subtle shifts in labor going on as companies that did one thing in the old economy are finding their skills useful in the new one. Another company, Global Marine Energy, has been installing and maintaining undersea cables for over 150 years. After serving the telecom and oil & gas industries for decades, it’s now also stringing cable to offshore wind farms all over Europe.

Or consider a former Maytag manufacturing facility in Newton, Iowa that now produces wind towers. This wind tower manufacturer, Dallas-based Trinity Industries, represents the less-discussed, real green jobs story. A company that has made rail cars and barges since the 1930s, Trinity is finding new markets. Imagine standing an empty rail car on its end, and you can see how Trinity was able to apply its skills. I heard about Trinity from Howard Gould and David Smith, two investors with a hedge fund dedicated to what they call “the clean infrastructure space.”

Andrew Winston

As Gould says, “everyone is still stuck in the idea that the clean economy is wind and solar.” He describes the supporting structure of industries, the “picks and shovels’” that will underpin this new gold rush. A lot of it is not sexy, but it’s real and it’s often inherently local. “The guy driving the truck hauling equipment to make oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico,” Gould says, “could easily haul stuff to a wind farm.”All these kinds of infrastructure jobs are not included in most green jobs discussions, but they’re very real. And they’ll certainly account for more than 0.6 percent.

Then there are the jobs we don’t have exact definitions for yet, or that we can’t fully imagine. Chelsea Sexton, an electric vehicle advocate and consultant, talks about what we’ll need to support millions of electric car owners. Mechanics will develop new skills of course, but we’ll need new service and support teams to help people get used to a new business model (that is, paying their utility for their car fuel). And as Sexton says, we’ll develop “a new industry to accept used vehicle batteries and sort them according to chemistry, condition, and future use…there are all sorts of possibilities in green jobs that we just haven’t thought through.”
A new green economy is just that…a whole new economy, with job openings at all skill levels, from truck drivers to inventors of new battery chemistries. The solar or wind installer is just the tip of a very large iceberg that’s coming our way. Will we let it pass by or take our piece? Andrew Winston is the author of Green Recovery and co-author of Green to Gold. He advises leading companies on environmental strategy.

Utility Solar Employment May Grow 20 Percent

JuliaHamm C4 New study is the first comprehensive census of solar labor market conditions.
Employment in some utility solar job categories could grow by more than 20 percent.
Data could give utilities new empirical evidence to support economic development discussions with regulators.

The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) today hailed the release of a first-of-a-kind report that shows empirical evidence for the potential for job creation by utilities integrating solar power onto their electric grids. The National Solar Jobs Census 2010, conducted by The Solar Foundation and Green LMI with technical guidance from Cornell University, is the first comprehensive study of solar labor market conditions. “This report sends a clear message to utilities and solar companies alike,” said SEPA President and CEO, Julia Hamm.

“Solar power will be critically important to utilities interested in creating jobs and supporting their local economies. “With the current economic environment in the U.S. and the need for job creation across the country, now is clearly the time for utilities and solar companies to work together in order to realize the potential employment growth illuminated by this report.” The solar jobs census breaks new ground in the way solar industry employment is measured and tracked. “Previously, economic development analysts used I/O multipliers applied to gross revenue investment, which suggested job losses at utilities,” said SEPA Technical Director, Christy Herig. “We’ve known the utility solar market has emerged in the US, but multiplier development requires years of regional and interindustry relationships. An empirical, census measure clearly defines job types, and industry sectors.”

Herig noted that the data in the study could help utilities answer difficult questions from state regulators regarding economic development from investments in solar power.

“Utilities proposing profitable solar business models to their regulators now have empirical data to justify their economic development claims,” said Herig. “That development is critical to offsetting the initial capital investments that may be higher for solar power than more traditional sources of generation.”That economic development could, in turn, lead to new local industrial capacity and new sources of revenue for utilities that integrate solar power into their grids. The solar jobs census presents a clear picture of the economic growth and job creation that could be spurred by solar power in coming years. The census measured solar labor market conditions across all related industries, but the potential for growth in the utility sector is particularly dramatic. Specifically, the census responses for 24-month occupational expectations (the employment in certain job categories during the next two years) show that utilities expect the following:

18 – 29 percent growth in solar utility procurement / 12 – 14 percent growth in solar utility customer management

16 – 41 percent growth in solar utility planners / 20 – 47 percent growth in solar utility support staff

The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2010 was sponsored in-part by SEPA and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The full report: final tsf national solar jobs census 2010 web version PDF

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