Date of this Version
More than 8 million U.S. jobs were lost during ‘The Great Recession’, pushing unemployment from 4.4% in 2007 to 10.2% in 2009. Nearly half of all job losses occurred among lower-skilled workers in construction and manufacturing industries. During this same period, however, jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy industries grew an unprecedented 9%. As part of a $4.8M grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, the University of Nebraska began development of a workforce transition program to ‘retool’ recession displaced workers for career opportunities in new and emerging green industries. To date, the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) of recession displaced ‘blue collar’ workers have been assessed in relation to the skill sets required of ‘green collar’ workers in building-related industries as determined by a survey of more than 6,000 Nebraska businesses. Using this data, a multi-tier curriculum was then developed to address common 1) pre-vocational skills training needed for the unskilled and unemployed, and 2) green skills training for the skilled and underemployed with the goal of creating sustained reemployment for 1,000 Midwest workers.