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The Upstate Economy

Conference looks for ways to grow "clean economy"

Hundreds of people from around the country are in Albany this week to talk about ways to grow and improve the nation's so-called "clean economy."

This is the fifth year for the Clean Energy Workforce Education Conference, which brings together educators, businesses and government agencies.

Jane Weissman is the executive director of the nonprofit Interstate Renewable Energy Council which hosted the conference. She says in recent years the term "green jobs" has become more of a marketing buzzword, but what's really needed is to make sure people get training in sustainable practices that match up with the actual job market.

"Very often a lot of the jobs are your typical electrical, plumbing, carpentry, project management, engineering, where just new skill sets need to be added," said Weissman.

According to a Brookings Institution report released last year which measured the size of the nation's "clean economy," New York state comes in second place, behind California. Brookings defined the clean economy as sectors that produce environmental benefits.