Green Job Opportunity: Environmental Cleanup

Learning the skills necessary to work in the green economy is essential in some instances, like environmental cleanup. (Photo: The U.S. Army [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr)

Green collar jobs are poised to play a major role in the recovery of the economy and the environment. Green collar jobs can be defined as blue-collar jobs with an environmental twist. Typical positions included under the green collar umbrella would be renewable energy manufacturing, certain construction positions, and those that perform energy efficiency upgrades. Now, one Massachusetts firm is adding HAZMAT workers to this list.

Recently, JFY Networks was featured on the Living on Earth radio show. Bruce Gellerman (Living on Earth) interviewed JFY Networks Executive Director Gary Kaplan to discuss his organization’s green jobs training program. The show discussed the importance of training workers for environmental cleanup, including the need for HAZWOPER certification.

“This industry does not care if you have a PhD from Harvard. You can't work. If you don't have these certifications you cannot work. The first question you go to apply for a job is "Have you got your HAZWOPER?" If the answer is no -- it's nice to meet you. If the answer is yes it's "Hey, suit this guy up." Source: Living on Earth

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) oversees the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER) certification program. The program covers employees involved in cleanup projects, certain conservation cleanup areas, voluntary cleanup, projects that treat, store or dispose of hazardous waste, and emergency response situations.

If you missed the segment, you can download the mp3, Going for Dirty Green Jobs, from the Living on Earth site.