Exploring the Green Infrastructure Workforce

Exploring the Green Infrastructure Workforce

Projected employment growth in the area of "green infrastructure" — not only parks, urban forests, and greenways but also innovations in stormwater management such as rain gardens, green roofs, pervious pavement, and bioswales — offers opportunities for low-income, low-skilled urban workers seeking quality jobs, a report from Jobs for the Future finds. Funded by the Kresge Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service, the report, Exploring the Green Infrastructure Workforce (48 pages, PDF), examined thirty occupations in green infrastructure implementation, maintenance, and inspection (GI-IMI), and found that nearly two-thirds — including roofers, environmental engineering technicians, tree trimmers, landscaping workers, roofers, and forest and conservation workers — were expected to see at least 5 percent job growth between 2015 and 2020. The report also includes profiles of seven cities and their approaches to the expansion of green infrastructure and its impact on workforce development. To keep the field growing, the report calls on the green infrastructure community, educators, employers, and policy makers to professionalize green jobs through the creation of certification programs, develop clear career pathways, target training opportunities to underserved communities, and pursue collaborations.