Cultivating Green Skills with Efrem Bycer of LinkedIn

May 28, 2024

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LinkedIn’s Efrem Bycer has more than 15 years of experience in economic development and public policy, with a passion for connecting people with opportunities and creating positive social change. As Senior Manager of Public Policy and Economic Graph at LinkedIn, he leads the professional network’s global climate initiatives, including the green skills and jobs research agenda. Efrem’s work centers on national and international policy advocacy to bring green skills, green jobs, and the climate talent who hold them into the center of the narrative on climate change. He is motivated by LinkedIn’s vision to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce, and brings diverse perspectives and experiences from working in different sectors, regions, and cultures.

John Shegerian: Do you have a suggestion for a rockstar Impact podcast guest, go to and just click ‘Be a guest’ to recommend someone today. This edition of the Impact podcast is brought to you by ERI. ERI has a mission to protect people, the planet and your privacy and is the largest fully integrated IT and electronics asset disposition provider and cybersecurity focused hardware destruction company in the United States and maybe even the world. For more information on how ERI can help your business properly dispose of outdated electronic hardware devices, please visit This episode of the Impact podcast is brought to you by Closed Loop Partners, Closed Loop Partners is a leading circular economy investor in the United States with an extensive network of fortune 500 corporate investors, family offices, institutional investors, industry experts, and impact partners. Closed loops platform spans the arc of capital from venture capital to private equity, bridging gaps and fostering synergies to scale the circular economy. To find Closed Loop Partners, please go to

John: Welcome to another edition of the Impact podcast. I’m John Shegerian and I’m so honored to have with us today Efrem Bycer. He’s the senior lead manager for public policy and economic graph at LinkedIn. Welcome to the Impact Podcast, Efrem.

Efrem Bycer: So glad to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

John: Hey, this is great. I shared with you a little bit off the air, but shameless plug here for your great, great brand, I’m a huge Reid Hoffman fan, I’m a huge LinkedIn fan, it’s really my go to social media platform, it’s where I’m most active and I interrelate with more people and I’ve had tremendous success with it over the years, so I can’t say enough good things. It’s truly an honor to have you on today. Before we get talking about all the important topics that we’re going to cover with regards to what you do at LinkedIn with your colleagues, I want to learn a little bit about you, I want our audience to learn a little about you. Efrem, where did you grow up and how did you get on this journey and who inspired you?

Efrem: It’s such an interesting, I look back on my life and it’s so interesting to kind of end up where I am here. I was born in Seattle and actually spent my childhood living all across the US. My dad worked in medical schools and so there was only so many jobs before he had moved to the next medical school. I lived in Seattle, Little Rock, Arkansas, northern Virginia, just outside DC and Vermont before heading going to central New York for college and grad school. When I ended up in San Diego, the real reason was after 10 years in Vermont and Central New York, I just wanted to thaw out and warm up.

John: That’s a good reason. I love that reason.

Efrem: But I think there’s like, it’s interesting. Along the way, I had some interesting experiences. As an example, in Arkansas, I couldn’t go to my neighborhood school because they still had desegregation laws in place, so I ended up going to a magnet school, and I learned a lot about what it means to have privilege, and then how does that contribute to kind of economic opportunity. My first day of college, I was a city planning student, was Hurricane Katrina, and so when I think about kind of mass disasters and how those connected to my studies, it transformed what I was doing in school. Got to spend time in New Orleans, and it made me think a lot more about how is it that some of these communities are totally disconnected from this broader economy that we hear is going so well. That made me think about this area that I want to spend my career focused on, which was economic and work force and community development.

How do you help people get jobs, how do you help companies grow, how do you ensure that those benefits kind of circulate through the entire local economy, and I think in the process, learn that government, non profit business, no one has a monopoly on doing that work. For me, it was about, how do you get into this work and do so in a way that you can deliver, leverage, whatever tools, whichever sector has something to offer. that’s what I decided I want to focus my career on. One thing led to another, and I couldn’t think of a better place to be doing that work and thinking about that than LinkedIn, where you have now a billion people on the platform, we think about how people find work, we know it comes down to skills and networks, and LinkedIn is the place where those things come together.

I get to be on this team, that’s public policy, communications, and data science. What that means is we’re able to take this amazing insight from a billion members, 65 million plus companies, millions of job postings, 35,000 unique skills, and share with policy makers and others what’s going on in the economy., and that can provide some new granular insights that are complimentary to what you might get from something like the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For me, that was such a cool opportunity. We call that aggregation of the economy, of the insights that come from LinkedIn, that digital representation of the economy, we call it the economic graph. That’s what we talk about having insights to share, that’s where it comes from, and then we’ll talk about green jobs and green skills a little bit. We’re able to take from that 35,000 unique skills, we’re able to identify a few hundred of which that are really focused on greening the economy, and that becomes the foundation for some of the really cool work we’ve been doing on green jobs and green skills and how we move this climate transition forward.

John: Was that your first job out of college, LinkedIn, were you that zeroed in and focused, or do you still…

Efrem: No, definitely not. We talk about this at LinkedIn all the time. Career paths are very rarely as linear as we kind of think about them, especially when we’re going through school.

John: Right.

Efrem: My first job was at the city of San Diego in the office of the city auditor. For me, that was an amazing experience to learn how government works, to get into what are the tools government has, especially on the tools government has to support small businesses and help workers learn skills and create jobs, how does government build partnerships with philanthropy and business to do that work, so that was, for me, where I got kind of introduced to some of this work in the real world.

John: Right. As a general setup for just LinkedIn and size and scope for our listeners and viewers who are not familiar, 20,000 or so employees?

Efrem: About 20,000 employees around the world. That’s right.

John: Over 15 billion in revenue.

Efrem: Yes, that’s right.

John: As a mission, if we were on an elevator together going to the 30th floor, and I shook your hand and you said, you work for LinkedIn, I said, what’s your company’s mission, is it democratizing economic opportunity for the global workforce, is that a good way to frame it?

Efrem: That’s right. We say it’s connect every member of the global workforce with economic opportunity.

John: That’s awesome. That’s just wonderful. Talk a little bit about, so you’re the senior lead manager, how many years ago did you join Efrem?

Efrem: I’ve been at LinkedIn for six and a half years.

John: Wow. Okay. Senior lead manager, public policy and economic graph, talk a little bit about now, connecting the dots, as you say, aggregating all that tremendous treasure trove of information that you have and how do you aggregate it to do the good that you do.

Efrem: Yeah. It’s interesting, I joined LinkedIn six and a half years ago because when I think about who has insights and features that could help people get back to work faster, especially how to help government better deliver public employment services, things like job search and job training, LinkedIn was such a kind of unique space for that, one because you have insights about how people actually find jobs, how companies actually look for talent, and then these other labor market insights about what skills are growing, not only what skills are growing in demand, but where are they growing, in what industries, in what titles., and that’s really an interesting perspective. For me, that’s what drew me to LinkedIn. A few years after joining LinkedIn, as I mentioned, identified these green skills within that taxonomy of 35,000 unique skills, and for us, that became really important.

One, because we knew that a lot of economic development plans that countries and states, regions were going to come up with were increasingly coming back to how do we position our economy to meet this moment for the climate, and that’s both because I think they realized that it was like a planetary imperative, but there’s also a lot of economic opportunity for workers if we can find, be able to plug more people into this. I often think about this whole conversation of, well, if we’re going to be doing this work for every member, bold and underline every member in that vision statement I shared, how do we make sure that folks who maybe been marginalized have not been included in a lot of the economic opportunity, how do we make sure that this big transition that’s coming, that as many people as possible are able to participate?

John: As a macro concept, since Biden announced and rolled out with his administration the ARA, Inflation Reduction Act, have you seen a massive trajectory of upward pressure for green hiring and green skills in the market place?

Efrem: It’s really interesting you bring that up because there’s a report that came out a few weeks ago that said that 270,000 jobs have been promised so far by companies who’ve made investments kind of tied back to the IRA. What’s really interesting from my perspective is those jobs haven’t necessarily yet become job postings. What we see already in the data is that demand for green jobs is increasing twice as much as supply of greens talent is increasing, and that’s before a lot of these jobs show up. If we think green talent demand is already accelerating, it’s only going to accelerate further because that’s where the market is headed, that’s where the policy environment is going. That tells us, we have to do is accelerate green talent development.

By that I mean accelerate the number of workers across all industries, especially things like battery manufacturing, things connected to the EV and battery supply chain around building retrofits, but a whole variety of jobs. We have to get folks green skills so they can compete and be ready for that market. Maybe a few other stats that I think really illustrate this point. The other thing we saw in the US in 2023, at its peak, the LinkedIn hiring rate, which is a measure of economic churn, was 44% higher for workers with green skills than for the workforce overall. Well, that just reinforces this high demand already right now for workers with green skills, and that’s across all titles in all industries, not just say renewable energy or EV manufacturing or the associated supply chain.

That says something really important that we not only have again, that planetary imperative to invest in workers getting skills to help fight climate change, but employers are demanding it, so if were going to actually meet employer demand, that’s going to be a major imperative. Today, when we look at our insights, we see that only one in eight workers has a green skill, which on one hand may seem like a lot, but if we think about the fact that we needed a whole of economy shift to meet this moment, every job, every industry’s got to change. One and a is not going to cut it, we have to figure out how to get that number much higher. That I think, to me, just really reinforces this idea that you can do a lot of policy work, I think the IRA has done an amazing job on creating demand for green jobs, and now we have to do the part to make sure that workers are there to fill those jobs.

John: Well, since LinkedIn is a worldwide brand, what I also understand from other policy leaders that I’ve had on this show is the IRA is indicative of what we’re doing here in the United States, but countries around the world are creating ancillary programs, already launched ancillary programs to the IRA, and therefore the same needs are in the UK and in France and in Belgium and in Sweden, and so you must be seeing that same poll not just here in the United States, but all around the world. This is a worldwide opportunity for both LinkedIn and for the economies at large that exist around the world.

Efrem: Absolutely. This is a global opportunity. This is something everywhere is thinking about. One, they’re thinking about all the industries they have today and how do they prepare those industries for the future. If you’re in Germany and you’re thinking about we’re an auto manufacturing powerhouse, and we’re going to have to be changing the way we build our cars. We already see what we call EV skills, that’s a subset of those green skills showing up in the data among auto manufacturing, and places like Sweden and Germany are some of the fastest and have the highest concentration of those auto workers with EV skills.

Of course, those show up not just in the auto industry, but they also show up in the utilities and power generation, because now you have to rethink your grid and rethink how you manage your grid to withstand new demands for electricity, so that changes. Then you think about how in parts of Africa, who they are trying to develop their economies for the first time in the sense that they didn’t have the industrialization, the time to grow in the way that many kind of developed economies grew, that was heavily reliant on carbon and heavily polluted, so now we got to also figure out, how do you help create and develop those economies that are innately and natively sustainable.

I think that’s an important part. Then there’s this other piece of it, which is there’s a lot of industries that are going to be changing as this transition occurs, so how do we make sure those workers, the workers who upon whose backs our economy is built, we can think about these are folks who work in mining, oil and gas. How do you ensure that those workers are well positioned for the future, and this is a big question.

John: Like you said, since we’re shifting from the legacy linear economy to the circular economy, the shifts are all over the place. In the United States, no one’s going untouched here, no one.

Efrem: This is a big trend. I think you’re right, spot on. This is a trend that’s going to show up everywhere. One of the other stats that we have at LinkedIn is we can see kind of how jobs change over time, how all jobs change, and from between 2015 and 2030, we anticipate that the average job will see a 65% turnover in skills. If you think about a job, any job being, say, the 30 most common skills for that title, we’re expecting somewhere between 17 to 20 of those skills that were present in 2015 could be replaced by a different set of skills in 2030. What’s driving those skills, what are the transitions, so one is digitalization and AI clearly is one of the kind of accelerants of that in the last 12 months, the next is this green transition. We see is when every job is changing, the skills are going to be required for that job are going to be increasingly digital and increasingly green.

John: That’s so fascinating, but if you’ve just joined us now, we’ve got Efrem Bycer with us, he’s a senior lead manager for public policy and economic graph at LinkedIn. To find Efrem and his colleagues at LinkedIn, go to Efrem, when you talk about green skills, a little while ago when you said one in eight, right now, one in eight employee people in the job force have green skills, can we go over definitionally what you mean by green skills?

Efrem: Yeah. As I was saying, any job can be broken down to the skills that you need to exercise or use to do that job.

John: Right.

Efrem: We look at the green skills as the skills within a job that are kind of focused on a sustainability effort, could be related to things like disaster mitigation, climate or carbon reduction, could be related to waste reduction, could be related to water, even public health, and you could think about some of the connections between climate change and public health.

John: Sure.

Efrem: Because we can take this granular skills view in general of all jobs, we can look at which of those skills are connected back, and so we worked with a team of taxonomists, so a role I didn’t even know existed and a set of outside experts to figure out what are green skills, and then can we use that insight about what our green skills to then tell you other things about what’s happening in the economy. So, for example, most people talk about green jobs, and the way we think about green jobs are those are jobs whose core purpose is to green the planet. You would very likely see that they always require a set of green skills and they have a higher concentration of green skills among kind of the most common skills required for that job, but we also see that green skills are increasingly required across jobs that don’t stand out as obviously green, and I think this to me is one of the core insights as somebody who I don’t think I have necessarily an obviously green job, but to be a public policy professional today and not know what scope one, scope two and scope three, it doesn’t work.

If you’re not going to be thinking about some of the carbon reporting regulations that might influence or that a company would have to comply with, that’s a part of what being a policy professional today looks like, but it shows up in other jobs, too. One of my favorite examples is folks who work in supply chain, this is a job that I don’t think of as the place where folks who are climate warriors gravitate towards, but when I think about how most companies are going to reach their sustainability targets, where their emissions are, they’re in their supply chain and it’s in the things they buy, the materials they use.

That’s true for companies like LinkedIn that don’t actually have hardware, we don’t build anything, but we do buy power, we do have data centers, and there are other companies who… how do they source materials, I was at COP 28, I was listening to companies like Volvo Group or McCormick, the spice company, talk about how they have to radically change how they engage with the supply chain, and so that means that the supply chain professional, that is a person who’s now is on the front lines of fighting climate change, and that job, the skills, the things they have to do, changes drastically, not only in how they engage with their suppliers, but also because they have to think about tracking the carbon from each of those suppliers.

John: Efrem, you’re so spot on because about 12 years ago or so, I was sitting in a meeting with one of our larger clients, and I truly embarrassed myself because he was explaining to me when I said, how did you become chief sustainability officer, here he goes, I used to be chief supply chain officer, I’m now chief supply chain officer and chief sustainability officer because it was a logical, there’s a logical nexus to both, and you are so spot on. Also, going to your point about the hard and the soft of green skills, this is anecdotally, and again, we don’t accept any advertising here on the Impact Podcast nor am I a paid spokesperson for LinkedIn, but this is an interesting story that just happened to us recently.

We were out on some other platforms and it doesn’t matter what other great job platforms, I’m sure they’re all great, and we were having no luck filling a couple of positions, one was a customer service rep, and remember we are a recycling company, we’re one of the larger recycling companies in North America. Second was a technology position and we weren’t having any luck. I then asked my social media director to connect with our HR director and then to post those job offerings on LinkedIn, and literally within 10 days, both of those jobs were filled. It’s so interesting that people think of some of the more iconic brands when it comes to advertising for job for prospective employees, but I don’t know if they understand that LinkedIn is one of the greatest places to zero in and grab some of the best talent that’s out there.

Efrem: Yeah. We’ve actually thought about this a lot, both from the insights side, and we can talk a lot about how to skills. Even that story you mentioned, how somebody from supply chain became a sustainability leader, how skills based approaches to hiring and talent development are really, really essential to meeting the demand, especially because these jobs are new and growing, so you can’t rely on people who’ve done the work before, but this other story you’re talking about is how do people find jobs, especially jobs where there’s a connection to the planet. One of the features we actually created on LinkedIn as a way for companies to kind of say, here are my values, my values could be things like DEI, career growth, work life balance, volunteerism and environmental sustainability.

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We did that because what we know about workers is workers want to, especially younger workers, they want to work at companies who share their values. One of those core values that’s really interesting is they want to know that they’re working at companies who are making a positive impact on the planet. Obviously, a company that’s, as you all are, focused on recycling, that’s such an important piece of the puzzle. We’ve seen that has been a major something that drives interest in jobs, but also just sustainability as a topic is actually something that people on LinkedIn are really passionate about and excited about, and because they’re having really thoughtful conversations on this. I think, to your point, yes, LinkedIn as like a job search platform and a way to find talent is great, but I think it’s also being a place where people are learning from each other and they’re finding new ways to kind of live out those values through how they spend their working hours.

John: If you were giving a masterclass, Efrem, break it down to employers and to prospective employees, young people in the work force looking to retool their resume and their skillset, as you said, to meet the new demand of both AI and technology and also green skills. What would be the masterclass advice you give to the two different subsets of groups there?

Efrem: Yeah. I would really start by saying what we’re actually talking about are skills, we had to focus on skills. If you’re a prospective job seeker, you’re thinking about where should I go, it turns out that you may have a lot more of the skills for the jobs you want than you might think. I would say the flip side of this is for employers, there are probably many more ways that people might represent having the skills for the job than their most recent title or their degree. As an example of this, we did a report where we looked at what impact is having the skills first practices actually mean. One of the most in demand jobs is, say a title like marketing manager, it turns out that 25 other titles share at least seven of the 10 most common skills for marketing manager, and so if you were a recruiter and you’re saying, hey, I need to go find a marketing manager, the first thing you might do is say, type in a search for who is a marketing manager today.

Turns out that’s a really limiting set of, that’s going to give you a very limited applicant pool, overly limited in the sense that there are way there’s a much larger pool of people qualified to do the job, and you might want to find some of those like reach those pockets of untapped talent. What I would say to employers is when you think about how to do a job search, think about what skills you need and what things somebody can learn on the job, I think this is really important in the climate conversation. Most of the jobs, especially these jobs that are new or growing, one, there aren’t people, if you only were to focus on recruiting people who previously held that title, we will never ever meet the demand. Two, any kind of degree program or any focused credential program is so new, we’re not pumping out enough people yet to really meet that demand. That means you really got to take a skills based approach.

Then for workers, when people do a job search, what ends up happening is they might go look for a job that is most like the job they just had, but we know in instances, like during the pandemic, when folks in food service and retail, their jobs went away, when restaurants closed down, you couldn’t just go apply for another job in the industry, there wasn’t another job to be had. I think for the green tradition, for workers, especially workers whose jobs may be impacted by climate change and the market responses to climate change, that also says you have a lot of skills. You have a lot of skills that mean you can do many other jobs, more jobs than you might have thought you could do. I think it behooves workers to think more broadly and for the organizations that support them, to help them think more broadly about the skills they have and the roles where those skills would apply.

John: On the aggregated information that you have about skill sets, is there a talent gap when it comes to gender?

Efrem: Yeah. I mean, we see this all the time. I think for one of the things that struck me as really interesting is we looked at the green skills gap between men and women and it’s very present. I said one in eight workers has a green skill, that was the global number, turns out that 16% of men and 10% of women, so it’s not equally distributed. Roughly two thirds of that green workforce, that workforce with at least a green skill are men, only a third are women. Now, women are increasingly perhaps faster than men gaining green skills, we have to accelerate that even further, we’re going to kind of close that gap. With that, I think is a major issue, we know that skills based approaches generally help women get access to more jobs. I think that’s another reason why a company should think about that, but we have a long way to go if we’re going to do this.

Now, it’s important for a lot of reasons. One, if 51% of the global workforce isn’t learning green skills, that’s 51% of the workforce is not contributing as much to solving this kind of global problem, but as we talked about, there’s also so much economic opportunity to be had through this transition, and if we want to help groups that have been historically left out, such as women, this is one of those main moments where we have to get this right. In my mind, it’s really important that we invest in STEM skills because STEM skills end up being an important conduit into green jobs, they’re among the most common skills for workers who transition into green jobs, so that’s really important, and we see some bright spots. Women are more likely to be developing sustainable development and environmental policy skills, especially important in industry, like utilities, so those are some things we can look forward to, but generally speaking, we have to accelerate that green skills development, especially among women.

John: Efrem, from when I was a little boy, first of all, when you turn 62, you applied for Social Security and you rolled off into the sunset. A couple months back, Charlie Munger just passed away, he was 34 days before his 100th birthday and he was still going strong, as is Warren Buffett, as is Bill Gates, as is Bill Clinton, as is Rupert Murdoch, and the list goes on. Working now into your 60s, 70s and 80s is becoming very normalized and actually very acceptable. Is there an age group when it comes to skills, when it comes to green skills, given that my generation didn’t grow up with any talk of net zero circular economy, chief sustainability officers, but your generation did, and your children’s generation are going to be literally living, eating and breathing, and it’s going to be just part of their culture and part of their DNA, so is ageism a big deal when it comes to green skills, and is there a hope for everybody to get reskilled to become part of this circular economy sustainability revolution?

Efrem: Yeah. I think this is a really interesting point. What we see in our insights is that younger workers are more likely to have green skills.

John: Sure.

Efrem: There’s a lot of reasons for that, partly in many ways exactly what you described. If you’re going to school today, you are more likely to be getting exposure to the issues of climate change. I think when I was in school it was just about recycling, but now I think it goes much deeper, especially I’m in California, we’re talking about this all the time. You can think about changes to weather, what that means from a preparation perspective, San Diego just had two of its rainiest days on record in the last six months, that is, I think, a telling story. So yes, younger workers are more likely to have green skills. I think I’ll use the finance industry as an example, so finance is the industry that has the least or the lowest concentration of green talent and that is the lowest percentage of workers with at least one green skill.

Now that seems like that’s a big problem, one that’s because finance is such an important enabler to financing and helping scale the solutions. We have a lot of the technology we need to solve this problem. We just got to be able to scale it and we need financing to do that or all over the world, so it may be the case if you’re an MBA coming out of business school today with an MBA, you’re very likely getting exposure to sustainable models of how to do sustainable finance. Case studies on sustainable finance, the opportunity and risk profile, which looks a little different for a kind of a climate investment. We cannot wait for a whole new generation of workers to show up.

John: Right.

Efrem: That’s not going to fly. We need to figure out not only how to create those new programs that are focused on, I’m hearing stories about programs that are being created, especially in places like Tennessee and Georgia, where are all about battery manufacturing, especially the community college level. That was a big part of the investments those states are making to help attract those businesses because we know the talent and business attraction efforts go hand in hand. It’s great when you create those new programs, it’s great when you kind of update curricula to include sustainability. I think that’s really important. Like I said, I studied city planning, I don’t think you can go to planning school today and not get exposure to things like sustainable building materials, materials you’d use to build infrastructure that are going to be, help capture rainwater, manage your urban canopy so you can deal with the effects of heat, I mean.

John: Sure.

Efrem: Phoenix has a chief heat officer now. I mean, this is happening, but then we also to figure out how to kind of strengthen the pipeline. That’s important. We have so many workers in the workforce right now who need to be retooled with kind of the, the green skill that helps do their job in a greener way, and that is a place where governments typically underinvest. I think that is something where we see employers are helping, really leading the way and helping upscale their workforce to meet their own sustainability commitments, but that’s going to be really important, that’s going to be kind of the way that we unlock some of this green talent development work at scale.

John: Understood. What role does government have in all this, and how can government also help organizations close the gap here and again help us get to our goals to decarbonize the planet and cool down this planet before more trouble happens here?

Efrem: Government is going to be essential to this. I think that is both in terms of actual policy and policy investments and an entity that can help set the tone of the conversation. One of the things that we want to see government do is actually connect the jobs and skills component of this to their core climate change plan. If you’re going to talk about climate change, you can’t do that without saying that every megawatt of renewables you want to put on the grid, every ton of carbon you want to pull out of the air, every ton that you want to divert from a land fill, everything you want to do requires somebody with skills and job to do the work.

John: That’s right.

Efrem: From us, starting with when you write those plans, when you make those commitments, starting at things like the nationally determined contributions that countries commit to during processes like COP, when they’re in front of the whole world saying, here’s what we’re going to do as part of those commitments, they’re saying, hey, we’re going to invest in workers to help make this transition possible, and we’re going to invest in the workers to make sure that if their jobs are negatively impacted through this transition, that we honor the way that they and their prior generations help build our economies by ensuring they’re prepared to take advantage and access the economic opportunity the future, so that’s one thing that government gets to do. Government also, I think, as we’ve seen with policies like the IRA, they can help put investments and kind of move the market in such a way that its going to create some of those jobs, accelerate some of the demand for those services.

I mean, I put solar on my house in the last year, that’s important. Every time we want to put solar on someone’s house, somebody’s got to not only be there to install it, but also somebody had to build and manufacture the panels, the inverters, all the pieces of it, so to me, that is a huge piece of it. Government has a major role to play, and the government also steps in when folks are going to lose their jobs, that’s something that government often does. As we think about what those job training and job retraining programs look like, how do we ensure that we’re also saying, we know that green skills are going to be in demand, that if we’re going to train somebody to be any job that we say, how do we make sure that the part of that job that focuses on fighting climate change is part of the curricula that we spend public training dollars on so that we’re making sure, one, we’re addressing this big issue, but probably most importantly and more transactionally, that we’re actually preparing workers with the skills they need to succeed in those jobs because as we see in our data, those green skills are increasingly required.

John: From there’s a growing group of people, and you know this already, you’re following this more than anybody, that not only just want to make a paycheck, but they want to make a difference, so they’re listening to today’s show and they understand now by listening to you and the compelling evidence that you have on hand there through your aggregation of information processes, that they need to get more green skills to be more desirable to be hired into the green economy. What couple of tips can you give them to gain some more green skills so they could further their career?

Efrem: Yeah. I think there’s a few things that folks who are interested in kind of spending their working hours on this could do. One is I think people often assume they have to make some big transition to work on climate, and I actually think if you’re in marketing, if you’re an accountant, if you’re in policy, if you’re in sales, there is a function, that function exists in companies whose core purpose is to green the planet.

John; That’s right.

Efrem: It actually becomes less about, more about learning kind of what’s the relevant issues, the issue set, do you comply the skills you have to the problems you care about. Like that, I think is the first thing I would tell people, start with that. Now, there are other things that if I were going to say, hey, I care this problem, where should I start, I would start by saying, what are the fundamentals of climate change, how do I define understand the problem, what language do people use, because I think when employers, especially space like climate tech, are saying, I’m struggling to find people who really understand this problem. Truth is, it’s a pretty narrow set of people who would come in already understand that problem. They really are talking about when I hear this, is understanding the fundamentals, the basics, the foundations of this challenge globally and having a vocabulary to talk about it so that, I think is really important.

I also think there’s resources from non profits like Project Drawdown and others that have actually looked at this in a very role specific way, and so maybe we often talk about the way that most people are going to learn green skills, are to do their current job at their current company in a more green, greener, more sustainable way. I would think about that for your own role, and there’s a lot of resources, there’s LinkedIn learning, for sure, that would have some of those resources there. For example, if you want to learn about product design, sustainable design practices, how do you think about building circularity into the way you design a product from the very beginning. Those are skills, those are some of those things you can learn on LinkedIn learning.

There are lots of other groups that I think are offering content for that, so I would definitely point you in that direction. LinkedIn, we have this partnership with Microsoft, so we have this effort called the Global Skills Initiative, where we have unlocked learning pathways made available at no cost to anyone with a LinkedIn profile. The ability to take courses that prepare you for some of the more in demand jobs, digitally enabled in demand jobs, including a sustainable tech pathway, and that sustainable tech pathway, I think is a really great precursor to some of the other things you might want to learn, because it starts with the foundations. Not very technical, but when we talk about climate change, we talk about circularity. When we talk about scope one, scope two, scope three, what do we actually mean, how can you actually use those words in a way so you know what’s behind them?

John: That’s right.

Efrem: That’s probably where some of the, that’s the place to start, and then, of course, there are ways, if you’re looking to make a more drastic transition, you can go take more focused learning credential programs, certificates. I think there are slowly we’re seeing kind of degrees pop up in the space at the undergraduate and graduate level. That’s exciting, but again, a lot of these jobs don’t require degrees, especially a lot of the jobs that I think the IRA has initially supported, manufacturing, construction, infrastructure, those are jobs that you don’t need college degrees for, so I don’t want people to think, okay, I need to go get a lot more education to do this work. It comes down to where can you learn those skills, regardless of the education, to be able to get in and do that work.

John: As you said, also the vernacular is just important. Understanding just the vernacular, so important.

Efrem: I think we talk about trust all the time. One of the ways that I think you’re getting somebody who’s really passionate about climate change, are you going to know that you as a potential job seeker are also passionate, is that you’ve done just a little bit of work to understand the problem. If you’re talking to a company that does geothermal, you probably spend some time understanding what are the issues that might be unique in the geothermal space. That’s probably what it looks like, that’s the place to start. Then I think you can, as you learn and unpack that set of challenges, you’ll say, hey, here’s a thing I need to learn.

When I was getting the solar put on my house, the solar consultant, that’s actually a job we see on LinkedIn that a lot of people get into without any prior green experience. What do they have? They have project management skills, they have sales skills, and essentially a solar consultant does consultative sales, and they use a new suite of tools that use Google Earth to assess where on my roof is the best place to put panels, because what they’re going to do is design my system. So, you can kind of see very clear that if you’re a good consultative salesperson, you’ve got kind of the foundation there, and if you’ve got a passion for kind of renewables, learn a little bit of the language and you’re really well positioned to do that job.

John: That’s so interesting. You’re going to put some of that in our show notes, we’re going to put some of the links to some of the programs you just mentioned so our listeners and viewers can access it real easily. Efrem, when you’re meeting with your colleagues and you’re thinking this through, what’s the trajectory look like, how long is going take us to close that gap? As you said at the top of the show, right now your information and your aggregated information shows that only one in eight have the green skills necessary to go really tackle it in the job market. When do we go to two, when do we go to three of eight, how does that trajectory look, is it accelerating, is it stalled, where are we in that delta right now?

Efrem: Yeah. It’s accelerating, which is good news. I think what we would say is it’s not accelerating as fast as demand.

John: Right.

Efrem: That, I think, is the…

John: Great point.

Efrem: The good news is people around the world realize this is a problem. People around the world realize there’s economic opportunity, jobs to be had if they can get into this space. The way I think about it, COP 28, there’s this big promise we should triple renewable energy production to double energy efficiency, and I would say we also have to get out there and triple green talent around the world. We have to really make strategic investments in helping workers learn green skills so they can apply those skills in a whole variety of titles. We can’t just, yeah, it’s great. We need people working on renewable energy, we need people working on building retrofits, we need people working on batteries. These are the things that we hear about in the news all the time. We increasingly need people to talk to know how to do reporting.

We hear a lot more about regulations around carbon reporting, emissions reporting. We hear a lot about those topics, but we need people to be thinking about this across all of their roles. For example, one of the other jobs we talk about, fleet manager. If you manage a fleet of vehicles and you’re going to be a key person in any decision to move towards an all EV fleet and away from an internal combustion engine fleet, well, what is it,,, how is it, what’s it mean to run an EV fleet differently, what are the logistics challenges around charging rather than fueling that you have to think about, the maintenance requirements really different. I have an EV and I have a van, the Pacifica hybrid, which is part EV.

John: Sure.

Efrem: I had an issue with a charger once, and I took it in to get fixed, and they rebooted it, like it wasn’t a hardware issue, it turns out it was just like a software issue, and so to be an auto mechanic today to manage a fleet, it’s like, you’re also an IT technician. So we think about a lot of these vehicles are basically computers on wheels now, and so I really think those are the types of transitions we need both to meet this moment and to build every worker’s confidence that they have a place in that new economy.

John: That’s so exciting. Hey, for our listeners and viewers again, to find Efrem and his colleagues and all the great work they’re doing connecting you, for all your next green job opportunities on LinkedIn, please go to Efrem, you’re always welcome back here on the Impact Podcast to share the journey that you’re on. It’s a fascinating journey, it’s a very important one, and the information you gave us today is really critical for the future of this planet. I thank you and your colleagues not only for the time you spent here today, but thank you all for making the world a better place.

Efrem: Absolutely. Thank you for having me.

John: This edition of the Impact podcast is brought to you by Engage. Engage is a digital booking platform revolutionizing the talent booking industry. With thousands of athletes, celebrities, entrepreneurs and business leaders, Engage is the go to spot for booking talent, for speeches, custom experiences, live streams and much more. For more information on engage or to book talent today, visit This edition of the Impact podcast is brought to you by ERI. ERI has a mission to protect people, the planet, and your privacy, and is the largest fully integrated IT and electronics asset disposition provider and cyber security focused hardware destruction company in the United States and maybe even the world. For more information on how ERI can help your business properly dispose of outdated electronic hardware devices, please visit