This month, my research was focused on the snack food industry. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘industry analysis’
If you ask any real estate broker or a site selection consultant today where some of the green shoots in the economy are located, renewable energy sectors will be at the top of the list. As the economy comes out of the recession, many brokers are reporting that they are busy as ever. However, digging deeper reveals that most of the activity is generated due to consolidation efforts rather than growth. The solar energy industry, however, is one of the sectors where growth is taking place.
The first 10 months of 2009 recorded 17 projects in the United States, with a total investment of $2.3 billion, creating 5,500 jobs. In 2008, we saw 29 projects with a total investment of $2.2 billion, creating 5,500 jobs. So investment in the solar industry in 2009 is expected to outpace that of 2008. The figure below shows the number of direct jobs created by projects in the solar industry since 2003.
Most of the recent growth in the industry is attributed to the favorable policies towards the industry from various local and state governments and funding provided by the stimulus package passed earlier in the year.
In September 2009, an old Ford manufacturing plant in Wixom, Michigan, began its clean technology makeover, assisted by Xtreme Power Systems and Clairvoyant Energy. These two companies are expected to invest $725 million in converting the Ford plant, creating over 1,000 new jobs. The Wixom Assembly Plant was one of Ford’s largest and oldest manufacturing sites, producing 6.6 million vehicles during its 50 years of operation. It employed about 5,000 during its peak and was closed in 2007.
In July 2009, PowerFilm, Inc., an Ames, IA, based thin film solar product manufacturer, announced plans to expand its current facility with an investment of $33 million. The investment is expected to create around 80 jobs in the community.
Such investments are not only delivering hope to communities like Wixom, MI, devastated by the plight of the auto industry, but are also bringing great high-paying jobs to communities all across the nation. The map below shows the locations of the 17 projects recorded in 2009. The size of the bubble denotes the size of the investment of each of the projects.
Recently, I’ve been researching and writing about clean energy and the green economy. I came across a publication, Job Opportunities for the Green Economy, from the Center for American Progress (CAP), which defines a green economy that’s based on using energy efficiently, reducing pollution emissions, and using renewable sources. Their report focuses on six strategies for advancing the green economy: building retrofitting; mass transit; energy efficient autos; wind power; solar power; and biomass fuels. Within these areas, they outline jobs that will continue to grow as investments in the green economy expand. Taken from CAP’s report, here’s a brief look at the opportunities they anticipate in each area:
Building retrofitting: workers who will advance the green economy by equipping buildings with new, energy efficient technologies
Electricians, Heating/Air Conditioning Installers, Carpenters, Construction Equipment Operators, Roofers, Insulation Workers, Carpenter Helpers, Industrial Truck Drivers, Construction Managers, Building Inspectors
Mass transit: workers who will advance the green economy by decreasing our dependency on pollution-emitting private transportation
Civil Engineers, Rail Track Layers, Electricians, Welders, Metal Fabricators, Engine Assemblers, Production Helpers, Bus Drivers, First-Line Transportation Supervisors, Dispatchers
Energy efficient autos: workers who will advance the green economy by creating vehicles that use energy more efficiently
Computer Software Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Engineering Technicians, Welders, Transportation Equipment Painters, Metal Fabricators, Computer-Controlled Machine Operators, Engine Assemblers, Production Helpers, Operations Managers
Wind power: workers who will advance the green economy by creating clean energy
Environmental Engineers, Iron and Steel Workers, Millwrights, Sheet Metal Workers, Machinists, Electrical Equipment Assemblers, Construction Equipment Operators, Industrial Truck Drivers, Industrial Production Managers, First-Line Production Supervisors
Solar power: workers who will advance the green economy by decreasing our dependence on pollution-emitting sources
Electrical Engineers, Electricians, Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Welders, Metal Fabricators, Electrical Equipment Assemblers, Construction Equipment Operators, Installation Helpers, Laborers, Construction Managers
Biomass fuels: workers who will advance the green economy by using renewable sources of energy
Chemical Engineers, Chemists, Chemical Equipment Operators, Chemical Technicians, Mixing and Blending Machine Operators, Agricultural Workers, Industrial Truck Drivers, Farm Product Purchasers, Agricultural and Forestry Supervisors, Agricultural Inspectors
As we can see, there is some overlap among the areas, but opportunity exists in many fields of work in which people are already employed. For example, a manufacturer of auto parts may be able to retool to manufacture wind turbine components for future alternative energy demand. Not only does this mean new job openings, but greater job security for workers already employed in these occupations. The jobs of today are the jobs of tomorrow. It is now a matter of enhancing those skill sets as we transition into the new, green economy.
To read this report and view more reports on other prominent issues, visit the Center for American Progress at www.americanprogress.org.
Source: Center for American Progress (2008). Job Opportunities for the Green Economy.