Exploring Green Careers: MIGUEL ALVARADO, Retrofit Contractor

The green economy uses more renewable energy, reduces pollution and makes the Hudson Valley healthier long-term. Here is what’s involved in some expanding local careers.

By Danielle Salisbury + Lynn Freehill-Maye

The statistics are impressive: by 2030, more than 24 million new jobs could be created globally by shifting to a greener economy, according to the International Labour Organization. But what actually are those jobs, and what do they take? 

La Voz and ScenicHudson.org’s HV Viewfinder both envision a sustainable, inclusive future for the Hudson Valley, so we teamed up to get insight into green careers through the eyes of four local people who hold exciting roles. Not only do these leaders feel challenged, but they also say they’re contributing to revitalizing the area both today and tomorrow.

Miguel Alvarado. (Photo: Jeff Mertz / Scenic Hudson)

Miguel Alvarado 
Conscious Builder and Retrofit Contractor, Equinox Construction Group

What do you do? We’re working on the Radio Kingston green retrofit, a 5,000-square-foot project. I agree with the idea of repairing rather than using new land to construct something when there is plenty of real estate that can be restored.

What are your daily work activities?
I’m in charge of procuring materials, getting subcontractors on schedule, making sure the tools and machinery are in working order. I’m troubleshooting constantly. If the plans depict certain things but in the field those parts don’t fit, we have to find a solution. 

How does your work make an impact? I believe there’s already enough infrastructure around. There are a lot of underappreciated buildings out there, so if we can retrofit them and make them even more energy-efficient without having to claim more real estate, we’ll help out the environment. 

What could someone interested in this career do? I recommend reading Fine Home Building and other construction magazines, as well as the local paper. Talk to people. And get education in general, no matter what the career. 

Miguel Alvarado shares what inspires him to make the greener choice of restoring over building something new whenever he can. (Video: Jeff Mertz / Scenic Hudson)

To read more in the Green Careers/Carreras Ecológicas series, click here.