Green Industries Offer Job Growth Opportunity & Talent Shortage

MSNBC.com has an article about growth in green industries. As some political friends have said 2009 will be a year there will be a US president whether Republican or Democrat who will drive changes for a greener energy.

When a Republican candidate for president starts talking about limiting greenhouse gases during a speech at a wind turbine plant you know there’s an environmental wave going on.

All the presidential candidates, including John McCain who spoke about climate change at a  wind energy facility in Oregon this month, have green initiatives on their agendas, and states across the country are embarking on initiatives to cut pollution and a reliance on fossil fuels. Not to mention homeowners who don’t want to be at the mercy of electric and oil companies.

Solar, wind and biofuels are all growing alternatives, and these fairly young industries will need people — people to produce, install and sell their products.

The Economist had an article about how difficult it is to find the right people for green start-ups.

A talent shortage hits green start-ups

ON MAY 1st applications closed for the first intake of a novel kind of executive-education programme. Set up by a bunch of venture-capital firms and other companies in New England, the three-month course will teach its “fellows” about renewable energy. To qualify for a fellowship, applicants must be successful entrepreneurs from other industries, such as IT or health care, and be zealous about profiting from greenery.

“A lack of talent, especially entrepreneurial talent, was one of the biggest bottlenecks to growth we identified in the clean-tech industry,” says Peter Rothstein of Flagship Ventures, a venture-capital firm that is one of the programme's founders. That bottleneck worries investors, who have been pouring cash into everything from solar energy to hybrid electric cars: last year global investment in renewable-energy businesses alone rose by 60%, to $148.4 billion, according to New Energy Finance (NEF), a research firm.

Although the prospect of minting money while helping to save the planet has attracted a stream of executives from other industries to clean-tech start-ups, few of them have much experience of their new field. In a recent global survey of 75 senior executives involved in clean-tech firms conducted by NEF and Heidrick & Struggles, a headhunter, over 90% cited top-level recruitment as a serious concern.