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February 11, 2010
The Maine Department of Labor today released the first in a planned series of reports on the green economy sector in Maine.
The publication, Maine’s Green Economy, defines the scope of the green economy focusing specifically on the industry segments that comprise the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors in Maine.
Maine Labor Commissioner noted that although there was widespread consensus that future growth in the sector would provide opportunity for workers and business, there was little research available specific to Maine.
“The availability of good data helps workers make informed decisions about career and training options, helps businesses identify opportunities in new markets, and helps policymakers, educators, and economic developers in shifting resources to where they are needed most,” said Fortman. “This report sets a baseline for us to move forward on a more definitive analysis of employment data and identify trends within the sector.”
Maine’s Green Economy broadly defines the green economy as variety of industries and occupations engaged in activities that reduce use of fossil fuels; encourage development of renewable energy resources; reduce pollution; increase energy efficiency; and minimize waste of natural resources.
Recent employment estimates for the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors in Maine have varied widely, depending on the definition of green jobs and the way those jobs were counted. Jobs are spread across a range of traditional and new occupations.
While not all jobs require highly technical training, most will involve the application of some specialized skills and knowledge that are unique to the green sector.
“It could mean training on weatherization techniques for the residential homebuilder, or a certification for a plumber who is interested in adding solar heating installations to their business services,” Fortman said.
Maine’s Green Economy was developed by the Maine Department of Labor, Center for Workforce Research and Information. The agency expects future research to build on information presented in the report. For more information or to download a copy of the report, visit www.maine.gov/labor/lmis.