Training for “Green Collar” Jobs

Cindy Zimmerman2008 Conference, Audio

The number of “green collar” jobs is on the rise in America. By 2015, the biodiesel and ethanol industries will create more than 240,000 full-time jobs in all sectors related to renewable fuels production, economic experts project.

Biodiesel curriculum developer Renewable Energy Group today joined with U.S. Department of Labor at the biodiesel conference to announce a new program to ramp up training and share Iowa’s industry expertise. Iowa Biofuels Training International (IBTI) pairs educational institutions and biofuels producers with potential green collar workers. IBTI’s programs are designed to train individuals for full-time ethanol and biodiesel laboratory, maintenance and operations positions.

NBB conference 08“Today, the state of Iowa leads the nation in ethanol and biodiesel production,” said IBTI executive director Joe Brehm. “We have seen the need for skilled employees in our own state, and are looking forward to offering hands-on, cutting-edge training for green collar job candidates.

Brehm, pictured here talking with Orlando Sentinel reporter Jerry Jackson, says “IBTI is ready to partner with domestic and international educational institutions and biodiesel and ethanol producers who would like to take advantage of Iowa’s expertise in producing clean-burning renewable fuels in these fast-paced industries.”

You can listen to an interview with Joe here: [audio:]

NBB conference 08Bill Sanders, director of workforce innovations with US Department of Labor, talked about how the Bush administration has made training jobs for the energy sector a priority.

“We need to retool workers, bring them up to speed, give them the skills quickly, because industries such as biofuels cannot grow unless they have the right talent pool,” said Sanders.

Joining Sanders in today’s press conference were Jeff Stroburg, CEO of REG and NBB’s Joe Jobe (pictured), as well as Dr. Mick Starcevich, president of Kirkwood Community College in Iowa.

You can listen to an interview with Bill Sanders here: [audio:]

You can listen to an interview with Jeff Stroburg here: [audio:]

You can listen to an interview with Mick Starcevich here: [audio:]

See 2008 conference photos on theFlicker Photo Album from the 2008 National Biodiesel Conference by clicking here.