Although he has yet to name a Department of Labor secretary, President-elect Obama pledged to spend up to $700 billion to create 2.5 million jobs to advance the next generation of green energy technology and infrastructure, provide job training and transition programs to help train workers for employment in the green economy, and establish new national energy standards to spur demand for clean, sustainable sources of energy.
What role will the states play in this new initiative? How can workplace learning and performance professionals ensure that many of the unemployed who will be searching for new jobs in new markets are prepared with the skills and knowledge they need to step in and make a difference?
Through training - green training.
If you are using e-learning, simulations, or Web 2.0 to train workers in your offices, then you are already using environmentally friendly forms of training. According to the ASTD 2008 State of the Industry report, utilization of technology-based learning applications is on the rise. It is efficient and easily accessible, but one of the main advantages of e-learning is its on-demand delivery. There is no limit to audience size, and reuse of this delivery method is continual.
You are the experts - not only in e-learning but in workplace learning and performance. You know the struggles ahead for these Americans who are out of work because you've seen downsizing in your companies or perhaps you've even been downsized yourself. A new administration brings new hope; now is your time for you to be a major player in that new hope.
Don't sit back and wait for your state or country to ask you for help. As President-elect Obama said on that cold November night in Chicago, "Let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other."