At least 3.1 million Americans are employed in green jobs, a sector that now accounts for about 2.4 percent of the nation's total employment. A 2008 report for the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Mayors Climate Protection Center projected 2.5 million new green jobs in the energy sector of the U.S. economy alone by 2018 (330% more than estimated to exist at the time the report was issued).
Total projected new jobs by 2028 was 3.5 million (+466% vs. 2008) with an additional 4.2 million new jobs by 2038 (+560%). For the metropolitan areas of Ohio, the projected growth was higher than the national average, an increase of 780% in new green jobs by 2038, and the Cincinnati metro region had almost 800% projected growth.
Economic sustainability involves the integration of economic goals with environmental and social goals. As a CEO of a global company recently put it, "Sustainability is a business model that respects that nothing is free."1 This degree will allow students to holistically investigate the complex sustainability challenges of our era, where the economy is seen as a component of the ecosystem, not vice versa. Examples of potential careers are:
Christian Wheeler has taken advantage of the internship postings we include in this newsletter, as well as the email announcements we send out, to obtain positions.Christian writes: "During the summer of 2015, I interned at The Grailville Organic Farm, working alongside the farm manager, Mary Lu Lageman. I mostly worked as an understudy of sort, learning the organic farming techniques as well as the earth share system. We also covered their techniques for providing for both the farm share as well as the local farmer's market that the farm participates in.""I [also] worked for the Cincinnati Recycle's campaign in the neighborhood of Roselawn.... For this campaign, the other canvassers and I went door to door in the neighborhood of Roselawn to collect and record information on the recycling habits of the residents then report it to the Rumpke waste facility. As another part of the job, we provide information and resources needed for residents who want to start recycling or for those who would like more information about it. The data is later analyzed to see if there is any increase in recycling habits in the neighborhood after the campaign.At the beginning of the job there are training sessions as well as a very informative tour of the Rumpke waste facility. The campaign also has various social media outlets which they use to post events, hirings, etc. Another cool perk of the job is that you get to meet many leading figures from the City of Cincinnati, Office Sustainability, and Rumpke!"
Jared Karban worked at Groundwork Cincinnati. I interned at a nonprofit that provided ecological restoration along the Mill Creek while also helping to redevelop and engage the community. My responsibilities were split evenly between work in the field and work in the office.In the field, I assisted with water quality monitoring, invasive species removal, project site planning, and youth education. I would often spend mornings leading the removal of invasive honeysuckle with students and volunteers. In the office I focused on community outreach, event planning, volunteer organization, economic research and reporting, and advocacy. This other side really illuminated the research that must go into planning an effective restoration program that also benefits the community. This internship showed the cohesion and comprehensiveness of ecological and social sustainability.
Rebecca Woodul interned as a Social Media Intern with CraftForce/Riser U. She found it was particularly helpful in developing social media and general marketing strategizing skills as she's been been working with a great mentor. Rebecca got linked up to this internship through Cintrifuse's job search board.
Rebecca writes about the Sustainability Program: "I am insurmountably glad that I arrived at Xavier as these programs were taking off, and that I was guided toward ECOS by [Dr.] Bertaux. Though the lack of a traditional specialty has made the job search, perhaps, a bit more difficult (and interesting, no less), I am certain that the program has helped me to think of the world both critically and realistically, in envisioning a "better" tomorrow. The only prime thing I would do different about my college career, looking back, is participate in more internships"
Sarah Kramer is a current junior at Xavier University and has worked as an intern for the Office of Sustainability. She has primarily focused on the campus farmers' markets and other projects revolving around the Urban Farm, composting, and recycling. During the process of forming the farmers market, Kramer learned to work with many different people from many different backgrounds, researched other farmers markets, making sure the papers were signed and the market would be legal, and working with her Co-Manager, Hannah Sheppard. Some of the best things Kramer has learned are that people are willing and wanting to listen to younger generations' ideas and views, and, as she puts it, "I have learned to put myself out there".
CJ Eliasen is a recent graduate in the Economics, Sustainability and Society major and is currently pursuing a graduate degree. In the summer of 2015, CJ interned at Whole Foods Market as a Green Mission Team Leader. He explains the position: "Green Mission is part of Whole Foods' system of core values, and includes a commitment to environmental sustainability. As Green Mission coordinator for the store, I am responsible for mobilizing and creating the Green Mission team (i.e. "recruiting" team members who have an interest in Green Mission), organizing monthly meetings to discuss changes we'd like to see made in the store, and acting as a liaison between store leadership and team members to open channels of communication around global and regional directives and how they affect us. We typically attempt to implement low-cost, high impact changes. A few of them include: new signage at recycling stations, storewide trainings on energy conservation within specific departments, and training geared toward use of a recently acquired compost program. Working as a Green Mission coordinator allows me to put my experience as an ECOS major into practice in the real world, and gives me valuable experience outside of my degree. "
In 2016, CJ also held a position as an Events Management Internship with Green Umbrella. Typical duties included assisting with planning and management of Green Umbrella events, promoting events through social media, developing evaluation methods for post-event follow up, and creating content for the events website.
Adam Przybyslawski is a recent graduate in the Economics, Sustainability and Society major. During the fall of 2015, he interned with the Department of Commerce, Export Assistance Center. Through this internship he was able help local businesses in the tri-state area expand to foreign markets through exporting. He learned about the difficulties and challenges of exporting and doing international business. Adam writes: "What was really interesting about the internship, was that through it I was able to go to the ASEAN water conference. At the conference I had the pleasure of meeting with delegates from the ASEAN nations, as they meet with local U.S. businesses to discusses their water technology and infrastructure needs. This internship was definitely a great experience."
Matt Thompson-Wilda is a recent Economics: Sustainability and Society graduate. He gained valuable experience as an intern with the Xavier Sustainability Office and the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance. According to Matt, "My internship experience working with Xavier's carbon report for the Office of Sustainability was very helpful in my understanding of the main sources of carbon emissions by universities. Tracking and computing these numbers was a challenging process, but helped me gain experience in the realm of energy analytics." At the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance, Matt's experiences included researching Renewable Portfolio Standards and analyzing factors affecting Solar Renewable Energy Certificates.
Mark Anliker graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics and The Public, a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Sustainability and Society. While at Xavier he held several volunteer positions and internships including work with Education Matters and Community Matters where Mark developed a business model for the "Washing Well Project" in Cincinnati's Price Hill neighborhood and also assisted with the grant application to fund the project. He also served as a Legislative Intern in the Office of Mayor John Cranley where he met with constituents regularly about the mayor's polices. During his internship with the City of Cincinnati Office of Environment and Sustainability researched abandoned city properties for restoration as urban gardens and authored and distributed the department's newsletter.
Click on any of the logos in the collage below to explore more career opportunities in sustainability and economics:
1 A New Era of Sustainability, UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study, 2010