California Workforce Education and Training Needs Assessment for Energy Efficiency, Distributed Generation, and Demand Response

California Workforce Education and Training Needs Assessment » Executive Summary PDF
» Part 1 PDF
» Part 2 PDF
» Appendices
» UC Berkeley News Center Press Release

On March 17, 2011, The Donald Vial Center on Employment in the Green Economy released the California Workforce Education and Training Needs Assessment for Energy Efficiency, Distributed Generation, and Demand Response. The report was endorsed by California Public Utility Commission president Mike Peevey, Labor and Workforce Development Agency Secretary Martin Morgenstern, and Senator Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) in a press conference at the State Capitol.  The study was mandated in the California Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic plan to provide recommendations to the CPUC and other agencies on the workforce strategies needed to achieve the state‚Äôs ambitious energy efficiency goals.

Report Results

  • By 2020, energy efficiency policies will result in about $11.2 billion of public and private investment, resulting in 211,000 jobs.
  • Two-thirds of the jobs that are directly related to energy efficiency work are in the traditional construction trades, and one-sixth are in professional jobs such as architects and engineers; only a tiny number of the jobs are in new specialized "green jobs."
  • Poor quality installation of energy efficient equipment some sectors is undermining the achievement of energy efficiency goals and is directly linked to low-wage labor markets which do not reward workers or businesses for investments in training.
  • California has over 1,000 training and education programs training in the key forecasted occupations, but the lack of widespread industry-recognized certifications lead to confusion and lack of coordination in the workforce development system.

Report Recommendations

  • Continue and expand the state's energy efficiency policies in order to meet the state's ambitious energy efficiency goals and create good jobs.
  • "Green" existing training programs for traditional occupations by incorporating energy efficiency skills and knowledge into curricula, rather than promoting stand-alone, narrowly focused green training programs.
  • Use our public and ratepayer investment to promote high quality work and good careers for Californians by:
    • Setting high quality skills certification standards for workers; and
    • Enforcing building codes and requiring other strong quality standards for contractors.