Emerging careers in response to climate change have been garnering attention as business leaders and policy makers look toward an evolving blue and green economy.

Luke Meyer, Los Angeles Center of Excellence director, spoke on the topic as a guest panelist during the Climate Careers Conference in Culver City at the end of October.

Hosted by West Los Angeles College, the Climate Careers Conference encompassed topics such as work-based learning opportunities related to the green and blue economy, decarbonizing the transportation sector, and the future of climate careers.

Meyer addressed the topic of “Blue and Green Jobs by the Numbers” and was joined by Bach Tsan, senior mechanical engineer in the Building Standards Office of the California Energy Commission, and Kristina Meza, assistant director of Workforce Development for the Los Angeles County Department of Economic Opportunity. The panel discussion was moderated by Su Jin Jez, CEO of California Competes.

Meyer discussed the parameters used to define green jobs and shared statewide data on the topic. For example, “greening” employment, which refers to the impact of the green economy and technology usage on occupations to reduce climate impacts, is concentrated in three key sectors in the state:

  • Construction, 790,452 jobs
  • Manufacturing, 776,951 jobs
  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, 588,380 jobs

He also shared that the greater Los Angeles region is the No. 1 metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the state for “greening” employment:

  1. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, an estimated 1.6 million jobs
  2. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, an estimated 730,000 jobs
  3. Riverside-San Bernadino-Ontario, an estimated 530,000 jobs

Next steps for analyzing and understanding “greening” employment include research that addresses the green skills valued by employers, inventorying green and sustainable training programs by region, and exploring how to leverage regional diversity to ensure equitable economic growth and prosperity in the green economy.