Massachusetts is an excellent model of how to prosper during times of economic hardship; the state was able to increase their total number of green jobs by more than ten percent in the last year, putting them at more than 70,000 positions.
Initially noted in the Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report, this good news comes as a result of strong, consistent leadership given in conjunction with a creative research team. The state’s long history in the industrial field was another key to the success.
Nearly 5,000 companies are working to support the green economy in Massachusetts, and their employees make up just under 2 percent of the total number of jobs in the area. The situation is markedly different than it was only 12 months prior. While the employment rate in Massachusetts has only increased by 1.2 percent over the last year, the number of green jobs has gone up by more than 11 percent. This trend is only expected to continue; during 2012, it is thought that nearly 9,000 more jobs will be added in the green industry, actually exceeding the growth from 2011. Other fields are not as lucky. The total employment numbers in Massachusetts are only expected to rise about 1.5 percent this year.
When examining the growth in the green field, a surprising conclusion was drawn. The different types of green jobs appeared to all be linked together, making the industry as a whole stronger. For example, out of more than 70,000 jobs, the number of positions were split fairly equally between the sales, research, and maintenance industries, along with a few others. Each separate area appeared to be connected to another in some way, and gains in one caused a chain reaction of positive growth among the others.
In addition, green jobs are found across the state, although there are more positions available in the Northeast than anywhere else. In fact, this region holds almost half of the clean energy jobs, most of which have something to do with renewable energy and energy efficiency. For instance, workers may help to put together home solar panel kits or similar products for consumers to purchase.
Massachusetts has proven that it is committed to the green movement through the implementation of legislation aimed at helping the environment. Its success with the clean energy industry should serve as an example to other states; effective leadership, coupled with solid policies that seek to encourage change, can produce big results.