Green Jobs Reports Identify Job Opportunities

Thursday, June 23, 2011 | 03:09 pm
Research Shows Current Employment, Gives Educational Requirements,
and Projects Green Jobs Demand
NASHVILLE – According to two new reports, green jobs in Tennessee are growing and will continue to provide job opportunities for workers in Tennessee. The studies, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, identify the number of green jobs in Tennessee in 2010, expected vacancies in the companies surveyed, and additional jobs created through 2014 by Tennessee's $5.5 billion in investments in the green economy.

The Business and Economic Research Center (BERC) at Middle Tennessee State Universitypartnered with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development to produce a study that examines the economic impact of six industries in the state that have invested in green energy and will create new jobs in Tennessee in the next three years. The publication is titled “Green Jobs in Tennessee: Economic Impact of Selected Green Investments in Tennessee.”

The industries in the BERC study include Hemlock Semiconductor; Wacker Chemie AG; Volkswagen; Nissan Leaf and Storage Battery Manufacturing; Tennessee Solar Institute and West Tennessee Solar Farm; and eTec Battery Charging Stations. The analysis addressed where these industries would be classified within the national and local green activity frameworks, how many jobs would be created as a result of these investments, and what occupations are associated with these green investments.
“Every job created contributes to a recovering economy,” said Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Karla Davis. “Labor market information like this gives educational institutions and jobseekers guidance on workforce demands and the training it takes to get a job in this growing industry.”
MTSU’s Dr. Murat Arik, Associate Director for the BERC, said these six industries and their dedication to green technologies have the potential of boosting the number of good jobs in the state. “While many states have been struggling to add new manufacturing jobs, these six green investments in Tennessee have the potential to reverse trends in the state’s manufacturing employment by boosting the job market with nearly 10,000 construction jobs and 17,000 manufacturing jobs,” Arik pointed out.
In 2011, according to the study, the number of direct green construction jobs generated by these six investments was 5,674. In addition, 1,767 indirect green jobs were created, along with another 1,928 induced jobs. This translated into a total economic impact of more than 9,300 jobs across Tennessee.
At the operation stage, full employment in these companies is expected to generate 4,572 direct jobs by 2014. Additionally, another 7,073 indirect jobs and 4,914 induced jobs will be created. The total number of permanent jobs at the operation stage will exceed 16,500, of which 10,143 will be green jobs.
By the year 2014, investments by these six major companies will amount to more than $5.5 billion. “With these investments, Tennessee is redefining its economic landscape. More than 10,000 permanent green jobs will be created in Tennessee by 2014,” Arik emphasized. “These jobs include engineers, energy brokers, solar installation managers and logistics engineers and analysts.”

The second study, Tennessee’s Green Jobs Report, includes a survey of more than 6,000 employers in Tennessee identifying 43,800 green jobs in Tennessee in 2010. In addition to the employees working in those jobs, employers identified 3,645 additional vacancies for 2011 for green jobs in the state.
·   The most vacancies were found in the energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and recycling and waste reduction areas. Green manufacturing and green construction also had significant numbers of openings.
·   The annual growth rate for green jobs was 8%, much faster than the statewide average job growth rate.
·   The most rapidly growing occupations as reported by employers were solar photovoltaic installers; computer software engineers (systems software); separating, and filtering.
·   The most common expected vacancies in the energy efficiency area were for electricians; roofers; heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers; and insulation workers. Sales representatives were also needed.   
·   The most common vacancies in sustainable transportation were truck and bus drivers. In green manufacturing, vacancies existed for team assemblers, material movers, and general maintenance and repair workers. In green construction, landscape architects, roofers, and other construction trades workers were most needed.  
·   Job openings in Tennessee’s green industry may be found at, selecting the Find a Job and Advanced Job Search tab, selecting an area, and asking to review the green jobs.
·   Industries with the most green jobs are construction and manufacturing (both with 22 percent) and transportation (13 percent) and professional and technical services (13 percent).
·   Among the largest green occupations in Tennessee are team assemblers, who may manufacture energy efficient appliances or solar or wind energy components; civil engineers, who are LEED project engineers or who direct sustainable city planning; transit or intercity bus drivers, who drive clean-fuel or low-sulfur buses; construction laborers, who work on home weatherization; and environmental scientists and specialists, who monitor environmental impacts and provide recommendations for mitigation.

The survey examined 10 green economic activity sectors: energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transportation, green construction, environmental protection, agriculture and forestry, green manufacturing, recycling and waste reduction, research and consulting, and governmental and regulatory administration.
The survey sample included 6,044 firms in 11 industry categories expected to have jobs in one of the 10 green economic activities.

The results of the Green Jobs Survey can be found at the following address:

For more information on “Green Jobs in Tennessee: Economic Impact of Selected Green Investments in Tennessee” contact MTSU’s Business and Economic Research Center at 615-898-2610. Dr. Arik can be reached via email at