Press Release

CPUC taps Vial Center to study state's green jobs needs

| 08 December 2009

The California Public Utilities Commission has chosen 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 state’s long-term strategic plan for energy efficiency.

"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 campus labor economist Carol Zabin, co-director of the Vial Center and lead researcher for the study.

"We are excited to help plan for a cohesive, equitable and high quality workforce development infrastructure for the state of California," Zabin said.

The researchers at the Vial Center, which operates under the umbrella of UC Berkeley's 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 education or training
  • 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 will 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.