Jobs scarce for newly-trained clean tech workers


It seems the job market is not measuring up to the hype. There is a glut of trained workers standing in line to clean up, on clean tech.

The Valley has become a favorite place for politicians to see how stimulus dollars are being spent. The president has done the tour. Vice President Biden participated in a groundbreaking by satellite. California's governor has visited as well.

On Tuesday, it was Nancy Sutley, chair of the president's council on environmental quality who said that job training will create work and bolster the economy.

"We did invest in the Recovery Act in green job training," she said. "There's $500 million that went to the Department of Labor, which they have put out grants to lots of different programs."

San Jose's Work2Future is one of those job training programs. The reality is that recently-trained clean tech workers are not finding jobs. Jamiel Parker knows a job is not guaranteed when he is done training.

"I try to keep a positive thought on that," he said. "I hope so."

B. J. Sims at Work2Future could not specify how large the jobless pool is.

"Government doesn't really make jobs. It's the business sector that makes the jobs and until the business sector is feeling confident they can utilize these folks, they don't want to hire someone on just to drum them out," she said.

While we wait for that to happen, energy experts are urging government policy leaders to move onto a new phase of developing a national clean tech strategy.

"We need to focus all our energies, as much as possible, on research and development. I think that there's a huge opportunity gap that we're missing, especially in this country where we're just not focusing the resources into getting the technologies to commercialization," says consultant and blogger Scott Edward Anderson.

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