Prepare For A New Economy

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With the coming economic stimulus plan and its focus on green jobs, environmental regulations, and new energy sources, it is time to prepare for a new economy.  While the bailout package will provide many bricks and mortar jobs designed to repair our crumbling infrastructure, there will also be plenty of  jobs focused around the expanding green movement and the previously slumping high-tech sector.  Since many of these will evolve into solid, high-paying jobs in a growing and dynamic field, you stand to benefit tremendously if you can obtain one these jobs.  For those just entering the workforce, or those contemplating a career transition, staying abreast of the skills, requirements, and opportunities available in these emerging fields will definitely pay off.

1.)  Construction

The construction industry will clearly experience a boom in the coming years.  Many of the provisions of the upcoming stimulus plan involve funding various states and their infrastructure projects.  Infrastructure covers roads, water projects, power grids, and telecommunications, among others.  Thus, there will be numerous job opportunities available under the infrastructure umbrella.

Generally, construction jobs have few initial skill requirements.  Besides possessing a modicum of strength and stamina and a basic education, you develop the skills you need through training centers and apprenticeships.  The informal training process takes approximately 2-4 years.  During this process, you take basic jobs at the various construction sites and learn from the other laborers.  In addition to your apprenticeship, this hands-on learning allows you to gain insight into the daily operations of a construction site, as well as learn and practice directly under the supervision of an experienced construction worker.

The formal process is more thorough, with a more intense focus on classroom learning.  This process typically requires more than 4,000 hours of on-site training and 400 classroom hours.  In addition, you receive specialized training in building constructions, heavy/highway construction, and environmental remediation.

While the initial disbursement of the bailout money will go towards “shovel-ready” projects, or projects already approved by state legislatures, the influx of capital will shift the emphasis from traditional construction projects towards green construction projects.  Thus, the future of this industry will lie in those individuals who can couple construction experience with knowledge of emerging green technologies.

2.)  High-Tech

The incoming administration has also stated that they want some of the stimulus money to go towards expanding broadband access.  Since the United States has been losing ground in some high-tech industries, businesses and government are recommitting resources towards high-tech job training.  Most importantly, many high-tech fields are, and will continue to be, at the cutting edge of innovative green technologies.

While these jobs are complex and require a different array of skills, they will be among the most lucrative job opportunities in the new economy.  After the dot-com collapse, many of these jobs disappeared.  However, the Information Age is here and President-Elect Obama recognizes the importance of prioritizing this industry.  Thus, opportunities will abound in the near and long-term future.

3.)  Green-Collar

By far, the most numerous and diverse job opportunities will be in the emerging green-collar jobs sector.  The goals of the emerging green jobs movement are to implement green designs, policy, and technology in order to promote environmental conservation and sustainability.  Thus, new environmental regulations will cover every facet of our lives; and green jobs will encompass the entire economic spectrum.

Professional opportunities in the green-collar sector include green architects, engineers, farmers, lawyers, and educators.  The shear amount of new regulation, policy, and technology will make it very possible to find a niche in this sector.  Vocational and trade jobs will undergo a green overhaul as well.  Green electricians, plumbers, and construction workers, among many others will be needed to build, maintain, and repair a myriad of green technologies.

The President-Elect has promised to create a green economy that will provide 5 million new jobs.  Many environmentalists and economists agree that these stable, high-paying jobs may be a ladder out of poverty for many individuals.  Soon, we will be transitioning into a green economy.  It is important that you take advantage of the multiple opportunities this will provide.

Apparently, studious, sober-minded individuals are going to be running, creating, and implementing government policy.  Coupled with a dismal economy, we stand on the cusp of a brave new direction for this nation.  People are open to new and innovative ways to change and grow our economy.  If you plan on not only surviving the recession, but also using the opportunities that are its result, you must prepare for a new economy.

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