by Dedrick Muhammad
Senior Director of Economic Programs, NAACP

Economic recovery is evading our most struggling populations with African-American and latino unemployment still nearly twice the national average. But as we celebrate Earth Day, now is a fitting time to highlight how the emerging green sector can bridge our communities to economic opportunity.

Green jobs, which are jobs that help improve the environment and lessen the destructive impact that we have on our planet, are steadily on the rise. Today, nearly three million people are employed in the green sector with jobs ranging from the manual (manufacturing and construction) to managerial (research, design, planning and development).

Unbeknown to most, green jobs are located in many of our communities. Urban centers account for 64 percent of all green jobs and they are highly concentrated in the West and Southern regions of the U.S.

The vast amount of opportunities in the green sector explains the popular phrase, “green jobs equals good jobs.” For instance, green economy workers’ wages are 13 percent higher than average median wages. Green economy workers are also more likely to report greater career mobility and advancement.

And for those who may be concerned about lacking the right skills to qualify for a green job, don’t be. Training opportunities are endless with hundreds of programs available that provide green certifications and licenses.

Dedrick Muhammad is the senior director of the NAACP Economic Programs. To learn more about preventing foreclosure and personal finance, check out the NAACP Financial Freedom Center Facebook Page or on Twitter @naacpecon.

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