Jobs in Transition Industries
At Brookings, we are dedicated to empowering policymakers and companies with data-driven insights into the ever-evolving labor markets of today. Led by fellow Greg Wright, the Workforce of the Future initiative focuses on providing valuable research and interactive tools that identify high-impact strategies for economic and workforce development. Our ultimate goal is to create good jobs and promote upward mobility for workers in an ever-changing world. The WoF initiative has garnered support from renowned organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google.org, and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.
This visualization and the comprehensive research behind it were meticulously developed by the WoF team. The talented team members include Greg Wright, Ian Seyal, Alex Cordero, and Carlos Daboin. We would like to extend our gratitude to Lightcast for providing their valuable data to researchers.
The Great Lakes Investment Strategy was a cross-organizational collaboration aimed at identifying economic opportunities from the low-carbon energy transition to fill two gaps in the existing policy landscape: (1) mobilizing economic developers to invest in clean energy that will generate economic opportunity and (2) building communities that will be supportive of the policies needed to enable these investments. A link to the full report and our findings can be found here .
The Great Lakes Clean Development tool helps the 50 Great Lakes MSAs identify opportunities for clean growth in their region. The clean energy economy was loosely defined prior to the team’s work. We utilized the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and identified 283 energy transition industries. The transition industries were further categorized into sectors, sub-sectors and primary products & technologies. The tool places industries into three groups: (1) clean and underdeveloped, (2) clean and developed and (3) developed. A region can then choose industries to invest in based on these groupings and different trade-offs, including how feasible an industry is for the area, the percentage of good jobs the industry has to offer or the complexity of the industry. If an area is interested in building out a specific sector, such as the ‘Transition Enabling’ or ‘Buildings End-Use,’ the planner can view the sectors each industry falls into by clicking on the arrow next to the industry. The user can then add those industries and work toward developing the necessary workforce. After an industry or set of industries are selected, the workforce development opportunities are shown. An area can see the most critical occupations for each industry and where their workforce currently stands. The interactive tool gives Great Lakes policymakers and developers the opportunity to transition based on the region’s own needs and priorities utilizing real-time data.
The project was conducted in collaboration with RMI, as well as David Hart and Chad Smith at George Mason University.