Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jobiness

"The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is projected to create over 500,000 clean
energy jobs – including 300,000 jobs to build mass transit systems and high speed rails,140,000 jobs to build new transmission lines and a smart grid, and 73,500 jobs weatherizing homes."

Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, Green Economic Recovery Fact Sheet.2009.

Let's get started. I suspect the weatherization dollars will flow the quickest and the expansion of work should pick-up this summer. Will this be net new jobs? Continuation of existing jobs? Expansion of existing jobs. A lot of these estimates derive from macro models about job creation and financial expenditures. That makes sense -- but it also may include indirect jobs. On the ground, it looks a bit different. How many crews or contractors do I put to work on how many jobs? Do existing contractors take more work because other construction work has dried up?

And then there are other questions that only close documentation will capture. How are workers hired? What are their skill and experience levels? What training is really needed? Is weatherization the first step on a career ladder? A steady job with benefits? Or a dead-end, bad job?

Weatherization is one of the key topics of the ARRA talkathon. Let's hope we can put together a broad and deep evaluation/documentation effort to learn as much as we can about weatherization numbers, processes, and impacts.

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