Press Release: UC Berkeley Research Center to Help CPUC Plan for a Green Workforce

December 7, 2009

Berkeley – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced last week (Wednesday, Dec. 2) the selection of the University of California, Berkeley's Donald Vial Center on Employment in the Green Economy to lead a $1.1 million study to assess California's workforce development needs as part of the California Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan.

"If we do this right, our efforts to build a clean energy economy hold great promise for all Californians. But we still don't have a comprehensive picture of the implications for our State's workforce and what we need to do to take full advantage of the opportunities that are coming." said Carol Zabin, a labor economist and co-director of the Vial Center, and the lead researcher for the study. "We are excited to share our expertise on the green economy and employment issues with the CPUC and to help plan for a cohesive, equitable, and high quality workforce development infrastructure for the State of California."

The researchers at the Vial Center, which operates under the umbrella of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, will examine such issues as:

  • The economic restructuring caused by the growth of emerging clean-technology industries and increased energy efficiency throughout the economy;
  • How such changes alter the distribution and availability of new green jobs in various industry sectors;
  • What green jobs require in terms of skills and educational/training levels; and
  • The wages and job quality of emerging green occupations.

The research team of economists, regional planners and workforce development experts also will analyze the capacity of existing job training to prepare workers for green jobs and assess how disadvantaged communities can become more active in this emerging employment field. The Vial Center will disseminate its findings to key industry stakeholders and the public through written reports, data, formal presentations and a summit in late 2010.

UC Berkeley is a recognized leader in energy research in terms of science, policy, law, business and regulation.


Carol Zabin, Project Manager and Co-Director

The Donald Vial Center on Employment in the Green Economy
Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
University of California, Berkeley
2521 Channing Way
Berkeley, CA 94720-5555
Phone: (510) 642-9176
Fax: (510) 643-1694


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