Investment in Blue-Green Jobs

Thrive305 > Priorities & Actions > Priority 7

Investment in Blue-Green Jobs

Our County is rapidly building toward resilience, and with that comes new job opportunities in the blue-green economy. "Blue-green" jobs loosely refer to new jobs like solar panel installation and wind turbine maintenance, but also include many traditional jobs applied to green and blue technologies, like contractors building with low-carbon materials and retrofitting homes, and plumbers working on septic-to-sewer conversions and water management systems.

It also includes jobs in parks and recreation departments supporting conservation, natural areas management, resilient design, and conservation education. In general, blue-green jobs are "high road" jobs, meaning they are more likely to pay above the minimum wage, have health insurance, provide opportunities for career growth, and have higher standards for workforce conditions.

Through our survey:

29% of respondents...
54% of respondents...
67% of respondents...
In particular, the survey found that there is a strong interest in green job training among younger residents.

The County has a strong foundation for creating economic opportunity for young people in the emerging resilience economy. The County can expand on our park-based youth development program, Fit2Lead, as we make significant investments to expand the urban tree canopy and other nature-based infrastructure as part of the County's strategies to mitigate extreme heat.

Thrive305 outreach elevated strong public support for youth and workforce development opportunities focused on tree planting and blue-green jobs. During Civic Week, we heard from residents about the health threats from extreme heat to older adults, the disability community, and lower income populations, all of whom are disproportionately exposed to the heat because of their dependence on public transit.

During the Action Plan Workshops, there was strong consensus around setting a bold goal for urban greening: achieve 30% overall tree canopy countywide by 2030, and prioritizing areas that are currently well below our current countywide average of 19%. Consensus emerged that the County can be proactive about our resilience challenges and approach them as opportunities for job creation.


Action 7.1
Expand youth work program to focus on conservation and urban greening
Read Action 7.1
Action 7.2
Expand tree canopy program to address urban heat islands and disparities
Read Action 7.2
Action 7.3
Educate the public about urban heat islands, necessary greening improvements, and career opportunities in this new sector
Read Action 7.3
Action 7.4
Update regulations to protect the environment and promote resilient growth
Read Action 7.4
Action 7.5
Coordinate across jurisdictions and agencies to address climate risk and achieve bold resilience and economic recovery goals
Read Action 7.5
Action 7.6
Improve our sewer, water, and stormwater systems to protect the health of our Bay, our residents, and stimulate our economy
Read Action 7.6