Missouri has been awarded more than $1.2 million in federal economic stimulus money to help train people for so-called green jobs. The money is headed to the Missouri Department of Economic Development, which will have its Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) use the funding to collect and analyze labor market information to assess its impact in energy efficiency and renewable energy industries.
“We understand that green jobs already have a significant part of Missouri’s economy,” said the Department of Economic Development’s John Fougere in an interview with the Missourinet. “But in the future they’re going to be an even bigger part of our new economy and it will be essential for Missouri’s continued economic prosperity.”
Just how significant is the green economy to Missouri?
“I think some people may not realize the impact the green economy already has in Missouri,” said Fougere. “We have been engaging in a survey of green jobs in Missouri that has shown us that right now we have nearly five percent of the state’s total employment – or more than 130,000 positions – that are tied in some way to the green economy.”
The state applied for this money because it feels Missouri must embrace the green economy.
“We believe that’s something that’s going to increase over the years and that green jobs will be essential to our continued economic prosperity,” said Fougere. “It’s in our best interest to make sure we have a workforce that’s trained and skilled and ready to fill some of these positions.”
The research compiled by MERIC will be used to guide worker training and retraining efforts in Missouri’s 43 Career Centers.