NMSU’s Arrowhead Center awarded stimulus money to study green jobs in New Mexico

November 30, 2009 by Justin Bannister NMSU NewsCenter

photo by Darren Phillips

Exactly how many green jobs are in New Mexico? That’s what New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center is going to figure out. The effort is part of an 18-month project for the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions and funded by $1.25 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“To the extent that our future is in the green economy, we need some baseline measurements to know if we are growing and to know what kind of workforce training measures we may need to put in place,” said Arrowhead CEO Kevin Boberg.

Arrowhead Center’s policy analysis unit will survey a sampling of businesses across the state by mail, phone and e-mail to determine what green jobs are currently in existence. It will conduct the same survey again a year later to measure the sector’s growth. As part of the process, researchers also hope to better understand the needs of a green-related workforce, and the educational opportunities related to supporting it.

The project will allow Arrowhead Center to hire an additional eight students, providing them jobs and skills that will also make them more attractive to potential future employers when they graduate.

The federal grant is part of nearly $55 million in funding announced by the U.S. Department of Labor to support job training and labor market information programs across the country. Its goal is to help workers, many in underserved communities, find jobs in expanding green industries and related occupations.

The grant is designed to support the collection and dissemination of labor market information, and will enhance the labor exchange infrastructure to provide career opportunities within clean energy industries. Entities across the country receiving the grants can employ strategies that allow job seekers to connect with green job banks and help ensure that workers find employment after completing training.

Arrowhead Center promotes economic and business development in New Mexico through a wide range of services, including entrepreneurship development, technology-based business incubation, workforce innovation, policy analysis, assistance with intellectual property, and by managing NMSU’s business and research park. Since its inception in 2004, it has completed more than 200 business research projects involving more than 200 graduate and undergraduate students.

For a full listing and project description of each federal green jobs grant recipient, visit http://www.doleta.gov/pdf/GreenJobs.pdf.

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