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HOME > BUSINESS Training and Certification > ENTREPRENEURSHIP > Green Businesses

Growing Demand for Clean Energy and Green Building Jobs

The San Francisco Bay area is actively developing training for jobs that employers indicate will need additional workers in the coming months and years.
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Recent studies indicate that employers in these sectors expect to see growing numbers of job openings in numerous positions, including:

  • solar photovoltaic installer;
  • solar thermal technician;
  • solar installation manager/project foreman;
  • solar designer/engineer;
  • heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration technician;
  • HVAC maintenance/repair trainee;
  • green plumber & pipefitter;
  • residential/ commercial/industrial energy field auditor;
  • home energy rating specialist;
  • building analyst;
  • building performance contractor;
  • building envelope specialist; and
  • weatherization auditor.


At the same time, employers indicate great difficulty finding qualified personnel for many of these occupations.

Other reports on the "green economy" in our region and nationally indicate that workers with construction experience are the "primary recruiting pool" for green collar Green Building jobs, and call for community colleges to expand their training programs in order to meet the demand to train workers for these positions.

Contra Costa Community College District

The CCGBRP's training program will be implemented at our community colleges: Contra Costa College in the west county area, Diablo Valley College in central county, and Los Medanos College in east Contra Costa County.

Each will augment its existing construction training program by developing and offering new training options that address both the demand for new workforce skill sets in the solar and energy efficiency industries and the retraining needs of workers in the construction industry recently downsized as a result of the real estate slump.

Each college will offer training on the

  • State Energy Efficiency Standards and
  • Preparation for the Green Building Professional certification

as part of a sequential course of study and various training options workers can complete during the grant period.

Discrete training paths will focus on

  • Solar Photovoltaic,
  • Solar Thermal Systems,
  • Building Analyst/Envelope Specialist,
  • Heating and Cooling Professional,
  • Water/Energy Auditing, and other specializations.


Workers will be trained for the Green Building jobs listed earlier, have opportunities to earn multiple industry- recognized certifications, and will be assisted to obtain employment.

Some will be equipped to start or restart their own Green Building businesses.

Those who obtain employment as entry-level installers and technicians in solar and energy efficiency jobs can, with experience and in some cases further training, move up to positions as

  • systems designers,
  • project foremen,
  • sales representatives, and
  • management positions, or
  • can start their own companies.


The CCGBRP will serve at least 180 participants during the grant period. It will also substantially expand our three colleges' capacity to provide training for these jobs and career pathways in the future.

Other CCGBRP partners include the City of Richmond/RichmondBUILD program, Solar Richmond, West County Business Development Center, Contra Costa County Department of Conservation and Development, and several businesses that will be on our Green Business Council advisory group and provide jobs for training graduates.


Edited by Carolyn Allen, Managing Editor of Solutions For Green

Publication Date: 12/13/2009
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