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Green Jobs Training Continues, But Work Prospects Look Dark

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Aired 7/29/11

Thousands of people in California are training to work in green energy jobs. But the industry isn’t expanding fast enough to meet the demand of people who want to work in the field.

Solar panels sit above the Solar Grove parking lot at the Kyocera Plant in San Diego, California. Thousands of people are training to work in the green energy industry in California, but job growth is not meeting demand.
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Above: Solar panels sit above the Solar Grove parking lot at the Kyocera Plant in San Diego, California. Thousands of people are training to work in the green energy industry in California, but job growth is not meeting demand.

— The MAAC Vocational Training center in Barrio Logan has had to turn people away from its Green Careers program because it’s so popular.

A new report from Environment California found up to 15,000 enroll in similar programs across the state each year. But Nicole Capretz with the Environmental Health Coalition said the green industry is facing what she calls a frozen tidal wave.

"We’ve done all the preparation. "We have the workforce trained. We have the communities excited," she said. "We have the policies in place to promote green energy jobs, but we don’t have the jobs."

Capretz said the newness of the industry, combined with the recession, have contributed to the lack of jobs. Still, about half a million Californian’s work in green jobs.

The industry is projected to expand significantly in the next decade.

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