Posts tagged ‘smart grid’

Update: Waxman-Markey, Stimulus Dollars, and Green Jobs Training

Carolyn ThumbnailPenned by Carolyn

Watching this one minute video review of the energy bill in the House, one word resonates again and again: jobs. The potential for job creation in moving towards a clean energy future has become a rallying cry for proponents of the Waxman-Markey Bill — because who can argue with job creation when unemployment has officially hit 9.5% nationally?

In the past couple weeks, the Labor Department announced $500 million in grants for green jobs training programs. States and cities have also started to distribute stimulus dollars for training programs. If you’re interested in who’s getting funding and how, sign up for updates from Green for All — they’ve been giving a number of conference calls to keep folks in the loop and share information nationally about training programs. Most of the money that’s being doled out focuses on helping blue-collar workers transition into the green economy — providing “pathways out of poverty” as the nation undergoes energy retrofits, solar system installation, and more.

But some concerns remain. Yesterday, the New York Times brought into question the effectiveness of retraining programs in giving trainees a leg up in the job search. As the Times wrote, “a little-noticed study the Labor Department released several months ago found that the benefits of the biggest federal job training program were ‘small or nonexistent’ for laid-off workers. It showed little difference in earnings and the chances of being rehired between laid-off people who had been retrained and those who had not.”

Hopefully, the green jobs training programs will avoid the pitfalls that have led to the concerns raised by the NYT article, and will lend a hand to folks from all backgrounds and work histories — we hear from a lot of people who are looking to transfer technical skill sets and haven’t yet found a clear pathway in helping them do so. We have to believe that, with all the energy and enthusiasm focused on the green sector right now, there couldn’t be a better moment for these programs to succeed in training the next generation of environmental leaders.

To that end, we’ll continue to provide advice and resources to our jobseekers (keep an eye out for Bright Green Seminars starting in the next couple months), and we’ll support our partner Solar Richmond as they seek stimulus funding to support their amazing solar installation training program.

Stay tuned… more exciting developments are surely on the way.

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July 6, 2009 at 6:49 pm 1 comment

Smart Grid 101: Definitions and Opportunities

Carolyn ThumbnailPenned by Carolyn

Smart Grid is one of those terms being thrown around the media and the green business sector – and for good reason, as it’s one of the most promising areas for growth even in this economy. In terms of being able to talk the talk in the green sphere, this is a concept you should be able to discuss with some level of intelligence and awareness.

Though there’s no singular definition attached to smart grid, it’s basically the concept of combining a power delivery system with a digital technology/metering system that allows utilities and consumers to adjust their electricity use with an end goal of increasing the efficiency of power usage nationally and globally.

Get familiar with some of the issues around implementing smart grid technologies, and why there’s so much buzz and hope for this growing green sector. Here are some resources to kick off your investigation:
  • The Department of Energy published a 48-page e-book called “Smart Grid: An Introduction,” which explores in layman’s terms the nature, challenges, opportunities and necessity of Smart Grid implementation in the U.S. and beyond. There’s a great glossary of terms in the back.
  • The Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition has information on the companies in the sector. Its member list (copied below) will give you a sense of some of the big players in the field.
  • This map of 101 Cleantech Startups shows several Smart Grid companies.
  • Smart Grid News gives information on companies in the sector, deals and transactions and trends in the industry.
  • Wikipedia has some basic background and interesting links.

And now, dive in to these companies and see where you might be interested in fitting in. Our usual thoughts on networking apply – run a search through LinkedIn to see who you know there; join some groups that the company’s employees are a member of to get exposed to the industry dialogue; read through the company bios; and check out job openings.

Aclara
Ambient
Amplex
CalAmp
Comverge
Conservation Services Group
Corporate Systems Engineering
CPower
Direct Energy
Echelon
Eka Systems
eMeter
Energy Capital Partners
Energy Curtailment Specialists
EnergySolve
EnerNOC
Enfora
Enspiria Solutions
General Electric
Google
Honeywell
IBM
Ice Energy
Itron
KMC Controls
Landis + Gyr
Lutron Electronics
Oracle
PCN Technology
Sensus
Silver Spring Networks
SmartSynch
Steffes
Tendril
Trilliant Networks
Ziphany

June 2, 2009 at 12:59 am Leave a comment

Green Job Search Tip: Quality over Quantity to Keep your Sanity

Christina headshotPenned by Christina

As applicants feel more and more desperate in applying to jobs, the old adage about quality over quantity holds truer than ever.  As you job search, consider that it is better to narrow your search to those positions that you are really interested AND those that you are actually qualified for.

These days, most positions are being filled with those that hit all the requirements and then some. I most certainly believe in aiming high and definitely don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but being realistic about positions in the current job market will save you effort and should better your chances of getting the positions that you do apply for.

Consider a couple points to keep in mind as you’re searching:

  • Do you fit the job description? If the job description lists 3-5 years experience of Smart Grid technology as a requirement and you are just graduating from undergrad, that is likely not a good match for you and by applying you may come across as lacking judgment. (Certainly, an unfortunate biproduct.)
  • If you do fit, make it obvious!  Trying to match your background to the requirements shouldn’t be a game of memory for the hiring manager.  The less work you create for him, the better the chances that your resume will be read closely.  Mapping your skills to the job requirements is important – see Raj’s previous post.  You can do this well by really understanding what the position entails which yes, will require research, networking, etc.
  • Keep cover letters short and applicable.  Again, this is a great place to highlight specifically how your background matches the requirements to be successful in the position, but if it’s too long, the reader will skim and value will be lost.

Next week: how to narrow and maximize your networking.

If you want to learn more about this in a personalized career coaching session, let us know – we’d be happy to help!

3Happy St. Patty’s Day – our favorite Bright Green holiday.  If you’re celebrating, follow Tom’s example and be safe and be green!

March 17, 2009 at 4:59 pm Leave a comment


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