Why is this important? There’s an ongoing perception that the green collar economy will only be available to highly trained, affluent people. However, there’s already 500 million in the stimulus package for green collar job training, and the fact that we can now verify the location of green companies in proximity to middle and lower income areas means that there are already opportunities for people close to where they live. We don’t know the details: how many people are being hired, what kind of backgrounds they come from, etc. But perhaps this analysis is a crystal ball into the future of the green collar economy.
Here’s how I figured this out:
- I took all of the green company location data for the 12 states we at EDF included in the lesscarbonmorejobs.org report and overlaid it with some zip code level demographics data in my geographic information system (GIS).
- Then, I created a threshold for “middle class” by defining it as per capita income $25,000 per year…which could be expanded or changed due to the definition of “middle class”.
- Using the GIS, I found out how many of the green companies were within the selected zip codes, how many were within 1 mile, and how many were within 5 miles
- I then used the same methodology to find the green companies in poorer areas, which I defined as: per capita income < $20,000/year
Here are the results of the analysis:
For the middle class,
- 540 of the 1,197 comanies are located within middle class zip codes
- 704 are within one mile
- 965 are within five miles
For poorer areas,
- 307 are located within poorer zip codes
- 445 are within one mile
- 781 are within 5 miles
Please let me know if you have any suggestions for this line of analysis, or if you thought it was useful (use the comments for this! Everyone benefits from great comments!) If people yearn to see the zip code level demographic data as an overlay on the google map, I can make it happen…but only if it’s something the community will value.