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Multiple brush fires near Barona Casino. Largest fire is 10-20 acres according to Cal Fire.

Where Are The Green Jobs In San Diego?

Audio

Aired 1/17/11

Like wireless and biotech, cleantech is now an emerging hub in San Diego. The city is at the center of research focused on developing algae as a biofuel. We take a look at how the local industry has fared, where the green jobs are and how much progress has been made with algae.

Like wireless and biotech, cleantech is now an emerging hub in San Diego. The city is at the center of research focused on developing algae as a biofuel. We take a look at how the local industry has fared, where the green jobs are and how much progress has been made with algae.

Guests

Stephen Mayfield, Director, San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology at UCSD

Barry Toyonaga, Chief Business Officer, Kent Bioenergy

Jason Anderson, Vice President of Cleantech San Diego

Read Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: San Diego is a hub of green tech innovation. We get an update on the industry and the jobs be generated. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh, coming up on These Days, solar energy, green construction, bio fuel research, San Diego is a vital part of California's emerging green industry sector. But are advances moving fast enough to give a boost to our struggling economy? And then, how about those Aztecs? We get a sports update. Plus in the next hour, the MLK chorus in San Diego honors the legacy of Doctor King. That's all ahead this hour on These Days. First the news.

I'm Maureen Cavanaugh, and you're listening to These Days on KPBS. A ballot initiative last November asked California voters to postpone strict greenhouse gas regulations because the state's struggling economy. California voters said no. Giving a boost to those who argue that California's emerging green industries are actually helping the state emerge from recession. San Diego is a hub of green tech invasion from being one of the first cities to introduce the new generation of electric cars to solar energy and bio fuels. As we assess the prospects for our local and state economic recovery, we thought it a good time to check in with some local green tech and clean tech innovators to see what's ahead for the industry. I'd like to introduce my guests, Jason Anderson is vice presidents of Clean Tech San Diego. Jason, good morning.

ANDERSON: Good morning, Maureen.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Steven Mayfield is with UCSD, and director of the San Diego center for Algae biotechnology. Steven, good morning.

MAYFIELD: Good morning, Maureen.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And Barry Toyanaga is chief business officer of Kent Bio Energy. Good morning, Barry. Thanks for coming in.

TOYANAGA: Good morning. Thank you.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I'd like to invite our listeners to join the conversation. Are you training for a career in a new green industry? Do you think the impact of green jobs on San Diego's economy is beginning to boom or do you think it's been over stated? Give us a call with your questions, your comments, our number is 1-888-895-5727. That's 1-888-895-KPBS. Well, Jason Anderson, as president of Green Tech San Diego, we hear so much talk about green job, you're dealing with green jobs all the time. Give us an example of a green tech or clean tech type of job.

ANDERSON: Well, there's a lot of examples, and I think that's one of the most positive things in San Diego, is that the clean tech jobs aren't just one type of jobs, they're a variety of jobs, right now, we're seeing most of those jobs in the construction field with the implementation of solar roof 207 panels in San Diego. And a high number of those solar roof top panels in San Diego. Obviously the installation of those panels creates jobs for construction workers and those types of trained professionals. In addition, we have a large number of employees in the computer sciences, engineering, some of the higher end types of skills are creating a significant amount of jobs in the clean tech space in our region.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And where are these green jobs? I mean, where can you find them if you're looking to get into the industry?

ANDERSON: Well, right now, we've got about 800 clean tech related companies in San Diego, clean tech San Diego keeps a database of the different clean tech companies in our region, and that income right now hovers around 800. About half of those companies are actually innovators. Those are companies that create or invented new technologies. And the other half we refer to as facilitators, and they install or implement these technologies. We at Clean Tech San Diego at our website, which cleantechsandiego.org, list all these companies, a brief description of the company, so it's a great resource for those wanting to learn more about the industry in San Diego. And those wanting to learn more about the different options and different types of companies there are to work for in our region.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Okay. So say someone says this is where the future of being employed and having a career, one of these industries really spells the future to me. So where would people go to get training in a variety of green tech industries?

ANDERSON: Well, again, fortunately for our region, we have a straight infrastructure of training programs in San Diego, from UCSD, UCSD extension, San Diego state, San Diego state extension, Mira Costa community college, Mira Mar community college, all of these different institutions offer significant amounts of training programs for individuals to get training in clean particular jobs. The San Diego work force partnership is also a great clearing house. While they don't actually provide jobs for individuals, they provide access to training for individuals, and have a number of different programs right now in the clean tech space.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And Jason, tell us about the Edge program.

ANDERSON: The Edge program is something we're very excited about at clean tech San Diego, and even Barry Joined me, and I never knew I'd be excited about pond scum. But clean tech is very excited about the Edge program. Just about last year, clean tech San Diego, in addition to biocom, are the San Diego center for algae biotechnology at SD Cab, the San Diego regional EDC, Imperial Valley, UCSD, UCSD, Mira Costa, a number of different partners all came together to apply for a $4 million Grant from the State of California for what we call the Edge program, educating and developing workers for the green economy. What this program is aimed to do is to train -- create work force training programs to support the growth of our biofield sector in San Diego. I know Steve will touch on this, but we're very excited about the potential of bio fuels in San Diego. Of basically because it touches on the research strengths of our region, but also carries over into an Imperial Valley where commercialization is possible for this industry. Of the edge program is creating work force and training programs at those institutions that I mentioned earlier to train workers to work in this space.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I want to reintroduce my guest, Jason Anderson is vice president of clean tech San Diego. Steven Mayfield is with us, he's director of the San Diego center for algae biotechnology, and Berry Toyanaga is chief business officer for Kent bioenergy. And we are inviting you to join the conversation at 1-888-895-5727. That's 1-888-895-KPBS. Steven Mayfield, good morning, we have had you on the program a number of times talking about the bio fuel research that you've centered on with the algae program. If you could give us just a little bit of background on that so that everybody knows what we're talking about, that would be great.

MAYFIELD: Well, I'm sure as many of your listeners know, petroleum and hydro carbons are a limited resource, so eventually we're going to run out of those, kind of at an alarming rate recently. And of course the price of a barrel of oil hit $92 a barrel last week. So we realize this was a limiting resource, so we've had to begin thinking about replacing that, replacing energy in all of its different forms 678 so I've been working on algae for many years, studying the genetics of it, but over the last 3 or 4 years, we really made a significant effort to see what the potential is of algae as a replacement for petroleum, and petroleum products, not just gasoline, but all of the fertilizer and all of the plastics, etc. And I think in the last couple years, we've made significant progress on the biological side of things. We've shown that the oils produced from algae can be converted into gasoline or jet or diesel, we've flown jets onem this, we've driven cars on them, we've driven tanks and amphibious military vehicles. So we've shown that it's possible to do it. Now, I think we're entering the era of showing that we can do this at some significant scale. So I think for this next year, for 2011, I think what we're gonna see is several of the companies produce -- build out their facilities, their pilot facilities and show that they can produce oil from algae at significant quantities, and that that can be economically viable.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Now, when it comes back to the edge program that we just heard about from Jason, what do you see in your particular field this people need to learn in order to enter the field of algae biotechnology?

MAYFIELD: So Jason brought up a really good point because there are truly two different paths that we go down. One is the innovation, so that is sort of the scientific inventions that we need to make, and by and large to date, that's where most of the jobs in algae biotechnology have been. Of so these are the under graduates and the pH Ds who are out working in the laboratory, trying to make the whole system better. But very soon, we're gonna have to shift over and go into a production phase of that. So that's what Jason called the enablers. So the majority of jobs in the end will be on that production side of thing. And it's kind of an interesting mix, it's gonna be a little bit of agriculture, because algae are plants and they grow photosynthetically, and it's gonna be a little bit of the energy industry. And we don't know exactly how that breakdown is gonna go. So part of the challenge of edge, is we develop these programs to train both the enablers as well as the inventors, it's sort of new grouped. So some of this we have to sort of make up as we go along. But we've already create R created, I think, close to 500 jobs now on the invention side of things and maybe 50 jobs on the production side of things, and very soon those numbers -- I think they're gonna explode over the next year. As the pilot facilities come on line in 2011 and show that they can working the next phase of this won't be to build one more of those, it'll be to build a thousand more of those.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I think Steven makings a very good point in that this is cutting edge technology, and the idea that you're really pioneering the idea of what kind of jobs you're gonna need and how to train for them is very interesting. Tell us, Jason, a little bit about the smart grid technology that the edge program is also gonna be training people about.

ANDERSON: Well, are we hope it'll be training people about.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Yes, yes.

ANDERSON: We at clean tech San Diego really see this new model as the Edge model as the new model for workforce training here in San Diego, especially in the clean tech sector. You know, take the industry, pair them with the academic side, and let them create programs so we make sure that we're training people that are employable by our local employers. And we want to see that same type of program in the smart grid space. You know SDG&E is currently installing smart meters around the county, around their service territory, as part of a smart grid system at the utility. They're gonna have needs, they're gonna have needs for people to be able to maintain those systems, to operate those systems, to work within those system, so let's make sure that those needs are being trained for, so the companies that are being build around the smart grid opportunity will be able to employ people who work in that space.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: We are taking your calls at 1-888-895-5727. We're talking about clean tech and green tech jobs in San Diego, the industries that are spawning those jobs, and where they're at in being -- in commercializing these advances in research that have been made here. Gene is calling us from Carlsbad, and good morning, Jean, welcome to These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: Thank you. I'm very concerned that the number of people who believe in global warming. I think that the majority of people who are interested in green technology, in moving forward in this area, are doing so because of -- partially because of a concern for green house gas problems with global warming. I realize that the cost of utilities also adds to this, but without the recognition of the problems of global warming, I don't think the industry is gonna sky rocket the way it recognize could move forward and at a low cost.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Well, Jean, thank you, let me get a response to that, if I can. Do you think that the idea that this urgent response that needs to be made to Greene house gas emissions because of climate change, do you think that there's -- the public doesn't respond that way anymore, Jason?

ANDERSON: You know, I actually -- I might have said yes had prop 23 passed. I think with the failure of prop 23, we in California and really we throughout the United States , it showed a very clear message to us that people still believe that this is an area where there is concern, there is concern by the majority of citizens throughout California. And so I think the industry is gonna continue to grow just based on that recognition.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And Steven, I'm wondering, the idea of the changing climate is not the only thing that's spurring this kind of research. It's diminishing resources, isn't it?

MAYFIELD: Yes, one of the things that people, I think, haven't really grasped yet, is that as the population grows, we're up to 6.9 billion people on the planet, we're gonna hit seven billion in the next month or two, a big part of energy is not just driving cars and warming our houses, it's modern agriculture, it's how we produce food. So, we take hydrocarbons, we convert those into fertilizers, and it's those fertilizers that allow us to produce enough food. So as the hydrocarbons decrease, the cost of agriculture is gonna go up. It's gonna go up because transportation costs are gonna go up, and it's gonna go up because the price of fertilizer is gonna go up. And I think that's gonna be a real shock to the citizens. It's already starting to hit now. The price of corn hit $30.01 a bushel last week. That is a historical, second only for the 2008 peek that resulted in food riots. So I think the point that the caller makes is absolutely valid. There is a little bit of denial now on the issue of climate change, it's easy and it's convenient to do that, but I think so many other realities come into play. Energy security, national security, food, I think all of these things are gonna come home it roost pretty soon. And then I think we have no option but to go in this direction.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Well, we want to take a short break. But when we return, we'll continue to talk about green tech jobs in San Diego. How the industry is emerging here locally and where the jobs are. And taking your calls at 1-888-895-5727. You're listening to These Days on KPBS.

Welcome back, I'm Maureen Cavanaugh, you're listening to These Days on KPBS. San Diego is a hub of green tech innovation, and we're talking about how and how that may translate into jobs here in San Diego. My guests are Jason Anderson, he's vice president of clean tech San Diego, Steven Mayfield, director of the San Diego center for algae biotechnology, and Barry Toyanaga, is chief business officer of Kent Bio Energy. We're taking your calls at 1-888-895-5727 if you have a question or a comment about green technology here in San Diego. Barry, I want to start with you because, you know, we had a conversation a while back with Steven Mayfield, and we were talking about the advances that he's making in algae research. But we also noted the fact that there were farms, algae farms, opening up in other states instead of California. But you have an algae, Kent bioenergy is building a pilot plant in the Salton Sea here in California. Tell us about that.

TOYANAGA: Right, yes, it's actually not being built in the Salton Sea.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Sorry, yes.

TOYANAGA: We have a facility near the Salton Sea. And in fact the company has been operating a facility out by the Salton Sea for the past 20 years of it was originally directed towards growing fish. And the founders of Kent bioenergy created that company as well. And the opportunity arose to take the technology that they had developed for purifying water for the purposes of raising fish to use algae as a means for purification of that waste water. And given the times that we're in right now, and the interest in bioenergy, these innovative entrepreneurs, Jack Van Olst and Jim Carlburg, and Mike Masingel, decided to take that technology and form Kent bioenergy. And Kent Bio Energy is applying algae technologies of the type that Jason has spoken about, that professor Mayfield is doing research on and applying it to provide industrial solutions. We want to commercialize the use of microalgae, and the range of applications is enormous, from treating trash to creating fuels for planes and cars and trains.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Barry, I'd like to get your take as to why so many of the production plants that are opening though are opening out of state which so much of the research is being done right here.

TOYANAGA: Well, a lot of the industrialization and commercialization is driven by cost. And I think that's a major factor. I think if Kent bioenergy hadn't had the footprint in the Imperial Valley from 20 years ago when land was obviously much less expensive, I'm not sure we would wake up this morning and decide to building algae ponds in the Imperial Valley. We have had this fortunate situation where the company purchased over 800 acres out by the Salton Sea, and now we're able to operate out there. I think the there will be nothing short of success that brings the focus back to building and more expensive areas. And so I think that's why I see a lot of companies not just going out of state, but going outside the country to put these facilities on the ground in order to test the principles. Because without success, it's a huge risk to sacrifice the funds to purchase the land to cultivate the area. So I think it's borrow better or worse, it's money that is driving people out of state. There's no other reasons -- excuse me, other reasons, work force, the climate, the terrain. Of everything is optimal out in the Imperial Valley. And we're continuing to grow our business out there.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Jason, is that something that you come up against a number of times? That the reform and the innovation is developed here, but the actual production plant, if you will, or the manufacturing plant is located somewhere else?

ANDERSON: Unfortunately, yes. You know, I think we have to be honest that California's not the most business friendly state: I think in the algae space, we have an opportunity to change the minds in Sacramento so that our local and state wide politicians understand that regulations, while they have their place, we need to make sure that businesses can be up and running in a timely manner. I think in the solar space, if I can just touch on that real quick, I think we are starting to see more manufacturing here in San Diego. Kyocera Solar with their recent announcement of their manufacturing facility in Kearny Mesa, silicon renewables energy innovations in Poway, these are all examples of manufacturing being done in San Diego. And we're seeing more interest in San Diego on the manufacturing side in the solar space. California's created the market. And now we need to do the manufacturing here in the state. So I think we have our work cut out for us in the algae space. And I think what's exciting about Imperial Valley as Barry noted, there's so much opportunity out there, we just need to make sure that the policy framework is such that companies can manufacture and commercialize out there.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: We are taking your calls at 1-888-895-5727. Jamie is calling from south park. Gorge, Jamie and welcome to These Days. Of.

NEW SPEAKER: Good morning, and thank you. And thank everyone for being here at this appropriate time. I have several different questions for you, actually. First one is just touched real quick, because this is my biggest concern at the moment. I am looking for work, and I just recently cross trained. I'm a certified journeyman with trade shows, and I recently cross trained with a course here in San Diego, solar training institute. And I can install solar photo voltaic panels.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Right.

ANDERSON: I am touching on this because it is strange to me because San Diego being Southern California, to me, that would be taking off. And I can't find a job.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Ah, ha.

ANDERSON: As new as it is, it's still not that new. There's people out there, I guess. And they don't want to hire anybody who doesn't have any less than two years experience.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Let me ask Jason, has there been a slump in hiring in solar as -- do you know that?

ANDERSON: I don't know that specifically. I do know that companies are growing. I know there's opportunities out there. But it is a tight market right now. There's plenty of people looking for work. There's plenty of talented and skilled people looking for work. As we all know, finding a job is a job. But I think there's opportunities out there. And I would suggest a continuation of training to give yourself an edge above the person you may be going up against, you know, with the programs that I listed earlier, there are other opportunities for increased in training and perhaps it's not a bad idea to seek additional training that can give you a cutting edge.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Jamie, thank you for the call. Bill in San Diego is calling us now. Good morning, bill, welcome to These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: Good morning, thank you for taking my call.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: You're welcome.

NEW SPEAKER: Well, I'm a degreed engineer in, I'm having the same problem the other guy's having, a little bit. But really my question was, I was curious to the extent that the bio fuel industry could off set the oil and gas industry in the United States. I've heard it's relatively low. But I mean, that was a little while ago. So I was hoping things had improved.

THE COURT: Okay. Let me get an update from professor Mayfield. Steven Mayfield, how much of an impact could bio fuels make in over taking America's need for petroleum products?

MAYFIELD: Right now we use an enormous amount of petroleum. Three hundred billion gallons per year. So in order to make ape percent dent in that, it's gonna take a long time. But you have to remember, even if we get to one percent, right, that would be three billion gallons per year, and at $3 a gallon, that's $9 billion. So there's an opportunity for huge economic success in this. Of I think we can employ a huge number of people. Are we gonna go very quickly to displace a significant portion? No. But over the next 10 to 20 years, our plan is certainly to make certain that we have an ability to produce energy in this country. So I think this, in the end, will be the way we go.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Is it really practically feasible to think of San Diego becoming an algae bio fuel hub? When I say San Diego, I kind of mean San Diego and the Imperial Valley area.

MAYFIELD: Absolutely, from my perspective, it certainly will. If you think about the energy here, it's based out of Houston and petroleum. Well, they don't do all the refining in Houston, but that's where it's centered. So people have said that San Diego people have said will be the green Houston. So we will be both the economic and the innovative center here, and then production will be spread out throughout the country. And Imperial Valley, as Barry pointed out, is an excellent place to grow this stuff. It has the right environment with the sunlight, with the available brackish and salt water, everything there set up to do it. I think that we need to have some success and show that we can be economically viable, and when we do that, these things will be built everywhere.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And Barry, I wonder about your work force. Are you able to find a lot of people who are up to speed in these emerging technologies?

TOYANAGA: Absolutely. I think the work fork is there. As you know, San Diego has been a biotech hub in the pharmaceutical area for a number of years. And that hasn't always been the case. I remember coming to San Diego and having trouble recruiting pharmaceutical scientists into San Diego. But that's not the case anymore. The skills are here, are the RND capabilities are here. Of the agricultural end of it that Steve referred to is absolutely there. When we ran the fish farm, we had a staff of over a hundred people working the aqua culture business, which is not that different from working the algae harvesting and production business. I think it's certainly doable. And I think the analogy between the pharmaceutical biotech industry and what we're contemplating now which is the bioenergy and bio fuel business. Because if you think about it, again, 25 years ago, no one would have thought San Diego was going to be one of the few hubs around the world where medicines were going to be discovered. And that's come to pas very successfully. Well, there's no reason to prevent us from becoming the intellectual property site for bio fuels production. The exploration aspect of it, or the implementation of that intellectual property can take place all over the planet of that's not the problem. But the value of businesses can be created here. And I think that has an enormous effect, a multiplying effect, in creating jobs in the local area. We've seen it happen with the pharmaceutical industry. I look forward to seeing it happen in the clean tech and the bioenergy space.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Right. For example, and I don't want to put you the hook there, Barry, but are you hiring at this point?

TOYANAGA: We are in the midst of fundraising right now, as many companies are in many different industries, we are always looking for people. It would be wrong for me to say we're hiring right now. We actually are hiring a couple of spots right now. But we're not hiring to expand substantially until we close our current round of financing. Which our fingers are crossed tightly. The holidays got in our way. But we're hoping that we'll, you know, again, pending this funding, we expect to expand to 50 or 60 people. And we'll need those people, up, instantly. And I don't foresee any trouble finding those qualified, enthusiastic workers right here.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Wow. Jason, who is hiring in the clean tech sector right now?

ANDERSON: I think solar companies are definitely hiring. There's a lot of -- you know, the interesting thing about San Diego, and it's very reflective in our other industry sectors, is we're made up of some large companies but a lot of small and medium sized companies. So I don't think companies are out there hiring hundreds of people right now. They may be out there hiring 10 to 20. So that makes it a little difficult. When we look at the clean sector right now, most companies are very, very small companies to small or medium sized companies.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: So they would be hiring in the handful of people.

ANDERSON: Exactly, exactly.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Let's take another call, Jamie is calling from south park. Good morning, Jamie. Welcome to These Days.

NEW SPEAKER: Hi. Thanks for having me back. I got cut off. I got two other questions for the guys.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Okay. I think we only have time for one, Jamie, okay? Pick your best shot.

NEW SPEAKER: Why is bio fuel preferable to, like, making ethanol produced out of the corn?

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Okay. Thank you. And Professor Mayfield, why is bio fuels -- why is algae preferable?

MAYFIELD: That's an easy one to answer. They're called fungible fuels, that means drop in replacements. So ethanol we can blend at five percent, even up to ten percent, and that's still compatible with our engines and the existing infrastructure, and anywhere beyond that, we can't. Whereas fuel from Algae is directly replaceable. It looks exactly like petroleum. It goes right into your cars or jets or boats.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I see, and so what areas of -- are we expecting too much? I'm having a hard time focusing this question. Are we expecting too much, Jason, from the green industry to just, you know, sort of explode and give us a huge amount of jobs when it's really still in its in15s?

ANDERSON: I think, you know, we expect -- there are currently about a hundred and 20000 green jobs in San Diego. By 2015, we expect that number to grow by around six percent. So almost a hundred and 30 this happened. Are we expecting too much? Maybe. But I think that's good. I think we really need to have high expectations to drive this industry. But I think in the future, our expectations will really, like I said, drive the industry, and create opportunities. And the more that the consumers are pushing for these types of technologies and these types of applications, that's what's gonna create more jobs and more companies of I'd like to point out too, just to Jamie and some of the other listeners that the San Diego foundation recently issued a report called economic vitality, clean tech jobs in the San Diego region, and that report provides a very good understanding of what the clean tech jobs look like now, and what they're going to look like in the future, and you can find that on line at the San Diego foundation's website. But a very good report showing that in the future, one in ten jobs in San Diego will be linked to green tech or clean tech industries.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: You know, we have heard a number of callers call in and say, you know, I've trained in these jobs and I'm still not, sort of, getting hired or I'm not seeing a boom in any kind of industry yet. I'm wondering if I could get all of your takes on this, starting with you, Steven Mayfield. Do you think that it would make sense for someone who is changing jobs or found themselves laid off to retrain in a green tech industry or in order to find employment or is this something that somebody really has to wait 5 to 10 years before they'll be employed in this?

MAYFIELD: Well, you know, early adapters as they're called always suffer a little more than the people who come after them to a degree. But it's also the guys who get in early who get in on the ground floor who I think have the best opportunity for growth in this field. So I look at this -- I've been working for 20 years on algae, and what I've seen over the last three years tell me that the advice that I give to my own sons who are in college now get into the green sector. Get in and work on this now. Because this is the jobs that are gonna be here for the next 20 years.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And Barry in.

TOYANAGA: I would fully agree with that statement. It's the area to be in. It feels so much like every other entrepreneurially initiated effort, you know, in the history of start- up companies and novel industries. I think that the only difference here is that we have a global situation where the capital that's available to nurture these industries is no longer restricted to the United States. There are entrepreneurial opportunities all over the planet. I think that raises the bar for success. And what makes me worry a little bit is the commitment that funders have for establishing this sort of industry in the United States. While we debate this, there is an enormous amount of positive activity going on elsewhere in the planet. And good people will get drawn to those opportunities. I'm in San Diego because from Canada where I grew up, the opportunities were in California. And I relocated here, I built businesses, I've been an entrepreneur for most of my professional career. Largely because that's where the funding was. And I love to see that funding real flourish here for bioenergy and Jason, element put a spin on the question that makes it just a little bit harder, if I may. If someone were not college age, older than college age and thinking about retraining for a green tech job, would you say that that was something that was gonna sort of pay off in the lifetime of their career?

ANDERSON: Definitely, definitely. I think that's really exciting about the green check industry is it's not -- getting trained in clean tech, quote unquote, related jobs is not just about getting a job with the clean tech industry. It can take you anywhere. It can take you within the life sciences sector, the telecommunications, defense. All these different industries are greening what they're doing. So being trained in some of those technical skills will not just get you a job at a solar in company, but it could also get you a job at a life science company here in San Diego. So it diversifies your employment base and really increases your skills to allow you to get employed in other sectors, not just the green sector.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Well, thank you all. Jason Anderson, and Steven Mayfield, Barry Toyanaga, thank you so much for speaking with us today. I appreciate. It.

ANDERSON: You're welcome. Thank you Maureen.

MAYFIELD: Thank you, Maureen.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Stay with us, and coming up on These Days, a sports update. You're listening to These Days on KPBS.

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