Greener Jobs

Greener Reality: Jobs, Skills, and Equity in a Cleaner U.S. Economy

The third report in COWS' Greener Jobs series takes stock of the green economy, looking at what works (and doesn't) in related skill and credentialing initiatives and placing them in a broader context of human capital development, community reslience, and climate change.

Long a leading force in workforce development innovation, COWS has in recent years established itself as a key contributor on the connections between those innovations and the green economy. In 2010, explicitly citing our work on green jobs, national experts ranked COWS among the top fifteen national organizations in workforce development. Our groundbreaking reports Greener Pathways, Greener Skills, and Greener Reality have established COWS as a national thought leader on the innovation and reform required to build shared prosperity into an emerging green economy and greater resilience for the communities most vulnerable to climate change.


We combine a deep understanding of labor markets, workforce systems, and low-income communities with a longstanding commitment to clean energy, job quality, and equitable economic development. A co-founder of the Apollo Alliance and the Emerald Cities Collaborative, COWS brokers transformative conversations between community, labor, business, education, and government leaders. We argue that all jobs can and should be greener, that developing a more functional education and training system is a critical component of the social contract, and that shared opportunity and transparent governance are prerequisites for truly sustainable development.


This page highlights COWS key contributions connecting the greening of the economy with the improvement of training in it. Many projects at COWS build environmental sustainability and propose transformation of human capital systems. For more on sustainability including our energy efficiency work, see Energy and Transportation. For more on workforce development, see Jobs and Skills.


COWS on Greener Jobs and Skills

Greener Reality: Jobs, Skills, and Equity in a Cleaner U.S. Economy (2012)

Greener Skills: How Credentials Create Value in the Clean Energy Economy (2010)

Greener Pathways: Jobs and Workforce Development in the Clean Energy Economy (2008)


Interactive Solar Career Map (2011)

A Green Career Pathways Framework: Postsecondary and Employment Success for Low-Income, Disconnected Youth (2011)


Making M.U.S.H. Energy Efficient (2011)


MGA Platform for Creating and Retaining Midwestern Jobs in the New Energy Economy (2009)

Eyes on the Prize: Program Architecture of Emerald Cities (2009)

Clean Energy Corps: Jobs, Service, and Equal Opportunity in America’s Clean Energy Economy (2008)

Green-Collar Jobs in America’s Cities: Building Pathways out of Poverty and Careers in the Clean Energy Economy (2008)



Greener Economy in Wisconsin

Mapping Green Career Pathways: Job Training Infrastructure and Opportunities in Wisconsin (2010)

Greening Wisconsin’s Workforce: Training, Jobs and Recovery in the Clean Energy Economy (2009)


Summary Proceedings of the Women, Jobs and Wisconsin's Green Economy public policy roudntable (2009)