What are we to make of the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics being tasked – and funded – to count the number of 'green' jobs in the US? They could be counting the number of lean jobs in an effort to gauge whether American businesses are becoming more competitive. In fact, they are counting the number of lean jobs, they just don't know it and apparently don't care.
A 'green job' is one that directly makes green stuff – windmill blades or solar panels or the like – or it is one" in which workers’ duties involve making their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources."
So reducing defects, improving OEE, shortening travel paths through factories, in fact just about everything under the scope of lean fits the definition of "using fewer natural resources". But they are not interested in reducing manufacturing costs and becoming more competitive. They seem to be very interested in amassing the numbers required for the administration to make the claim that their environmental agenda is creating jobs. Who would have thought that every kaizen event, and every improvement to a value stream map would become a political pawn to be used as proof that this adminisration has a pro-manufacturing agenda.
It is all just abuse of a government agency, and a waste of tax money for political gain. That is plain to see. What is maddening about it is that the Bureau of Labor Statistics is the outfit that has not been able to tell the difference between productivity improvement and offshore outsourcing since their absurd miscalcuations and assumptions were uncovered in 2006 … so they just call it all productivity gains and minimize the effect of China on our manufacturing base.
Money and people to count green jobs – not lean jobs – but no money to figure out how to accurately measure productivity or to determine the results of our trade policies. And they wonder why the average American has more respect for used car dealers than Washington bureaucrats.