If we are to become able to meet the goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, such as those proposed by Mayor de Blasio in NYC, we are going to need a workforce with new skills. So, how will that workforce be trained? We’re predicting a grow of jobs in refurbishing government buildings,private buildings and existing housing stock with greater energy efficiency. Training needs may be partly addressed by President Obama’s goal of making Community Colleges free to attend. But, could training itself be a profitable venture? What about designing the new curricula that will be needed? What are the business models that will work and will they be dependent on government funding, private sector financing (investment) or a combination of the two?
In an article in the Harvard Business Review, Michael E. Porter says: “The past decade has been characterized by internal cost reduction, cautious investment, higher corporate profitability, rising M&A, and muted innovation across large parts of the economy. This path has resulted in slower job growth, slower improvements in wages and living standards for the average citizen, . . . The era of smart, connected products can change this trajectory, provided that companies move aggressively to embrace the opportunity. Business and government together will need to equip workers across all groups with the skills to participate, and agree on the rules and regulations needed to set standards, enable innovation, protect data, and overcome efforts to block progress (such as auto dealers’ political opposition to Tesla).”
NOTE: On January 8, 2015 NPR reported that the Keystone XL pipeline would only create about 50 permanent jobs in the US.