In the last housing and construction downturn, if an architect asked you a question, you answered "big mac and fries." This time the answer may well be "gallium indium phosphide, with a germanium topping." It appears that all kinds of engineers, scientists and architects are jumping into the green economy. According to Newsweek: ...With oil prices near record highs and more companies concerned about their carbon footprints, workers are finding job opportunities in the emerging green economy. Companies are hiring scientists to work on renewable-energy technology and business people to market earth-friendly products. Even if some of these nascent companies falter, there's widespread conviction that this sector will become one of the country's hottest employers. "This is the challenge of the 21st century ... and it's not going away," says Kevin Doyle, founder of the consulting firm Green Economy.
Ph.D. students at the Univ. of Toledo holding a solar module
The article in Newsweek focuses on one company in Toledo, Ohio, the kind of rust belt city that this TreeHugger says will be the key to a sustainable future, with its great infrastructure and temperate climate. Newsweek continues:
During the last decade's dotcom employment boom, much of the job creation was concentrated in Silicon Valley. In contrast, green jobs are popping up all over—some of them in very unexpected places. A good example is Toledo, a rust-belt manufacturing center with no shortage of vacant downtown buildings. Historically, Toledo's big employers have been auto factories or auto suppliers—particularly glass manufacturers that make car windshields. But lately Toledo has established a growing national reputation as a hot spot for firms developing solar panels. Why Toledo? Glass is a key component in solar technology, and the University of Toledo has been doing hard-core solar-cell research for two decades. Local economic-development officials recently launched a $22 million venture fund to help launch more start-ups. The payoff from this combination of forces: according to the local Regional Growth Partnership, the Toledo area already has nearly 6,000 people employed in the solar industry. "We're seeing this transition of people moving from automotive to alternative energy," says Steven Weathers, CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership. ::Newsweek