Clean Tech Synonymous With Local Job Growth In 2015

Microsoft announced this week it is cutting 7,800 jobs in its phone business. The announcement came as Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, sent an email to all Microsoft employees about the coming layoffs, the company said in a press release. Across the board, tech jobs in mature markets appear unstable. However, new technologies in innovative areas showed impressive job growth in the first half of 2015. Burgeoning local career opportunities are easy to find if you know where to look. The most notable area is clean tech.

California reported nearly 2,000 new clean energy and clean transportation jobs in the first quarter of 2015, according to a report issued last month. Many of those opportunities are in the San Francisco Bay Area. Only Georgia showed stronger clean tech growth at 2,870 compared to California’s 1,885, the report said. Clean tech and clean transportation jobs not only include the typical opportunities associated with renewable energy technologies like solar and wind, but also many other areas such electric motors, green tech chemistry, sustainable water management, and waste disposal technologies.

The state has set the stage with policy that will continue to usher in clean tech jobs growth. “With 55,000 people employed in [California’s] booming solar industry alone,” according to the U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index report, “a carbon market in place with its AB 32 trading scheme, and a 50 percent renewables goal by 2030 set by Governor Jerry Brown, California sets the pace for what a clean-energy economy looks like.” The the solar industry has led to clean tech outpacing job growth in all other sectors by a factor of 10, according to yet another report on green innovation.

Coupled with California’s aggressive environmental policies, the strong investor and venture community in Silicon Valley is responsible for enabling many new clean tech jobs in the Bay Area. Fremont’s Solar City created 200 first-quarter jobs and the California Flats Solar Project in Monterey County added 500. In 2014, a biomass project at the city of San Mateo accounted for nearly 20 positions.

Residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, Greg is a patented inventor, technology enthusiast and intrepid journalist. He finds inspiration in diverse experiences, organizations, people and places — from restaurants to politics, movies, music and, most of all, his daughter.

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