Currently the algae sector employs, directly and indirectly, more than 10,000 workers at approximately 100 companies, as well as at academic and government research projects around the country, and many suppliers of specialized equipment and services. This number will grow exponentially as the industry successfully moves from research and development to deployment.
And algae jobs can pop up almost anywhere. In the US there are algae growing and supporting efforts in 41 states across a wide range of climates. The algae industry has the potential to become a 50-state job growth engine.
The recent growth in private and public investment has spiked demand for workers. ABO estimates that once algae fuel production reaches commercial scale in 2022, the industry could support approximately 100,000 direct jobs. This figure does not include indirect job-creation, such as those positions related to infrastructure construction, transportation and shipping, marketing, and other key positions along the value chain. If one includes these ancillary jobs, then ABO’s job estimate doubles, to over 200,000. jobs that will be steady, high-paying, requiring workers spanning across a wide variety of educational backgrounds and skills.
While many fast-growing startups recruit mostly scientists and engineers, this sector won’t be limited to only those with advanced degrees. Much of the work will requires a full range of skill sets similar to jobs found in agriculture, manufacturing and commerce.
Industry snapshot with Mary Rosenthal, ED, Algal Biomass Organization
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