Minority Job Outlook May Be Green
By Olivia Gordon
Austin’s minority chambers of commerce met this afternoon to talk about how green technology might affect the city’s economic future.
Daniel Villao, an expert on creating jobs in energy efficiency, was the keynote speaker. Villao says green industries continue to grow where other job markets have stopped.
“With construction being stagnant, with manufacturing being shipped away from our borders, the built environment and the adoption of green technology in a variety of spaces is the one place that can really scale opportunity in the U.S.,” Villao said.
He says that although the jobs available early on may mainly be short-term, low-wage ones, creating green jobs could spawn more careers. Which could mean more opportunities for low-income people to move into the middle class.
But Adrian Neeley says green jobs might not be the only option. He’s with Workforce Solutions, a nonprofit that evaluates local workforce development.
“I wouldn’t say it’s the only way,” Neeley said. “The industry is too new to categorically say that it’s the industry to be in to get out of poverty. It’s a step in the right direction, but I wouldn’t say it’s the industry right now.”
Instead, Neeley points to the medical industry as a reliable path for moving into higher-paying jobs.