Today brings mixed news on the employment front: green businesses are sprouting across the Northwest, but workers across the country are still having trouble finding satisfying work.

wind farm Stories today dissect two of the most obvious ‘clean’ industries. The New York Times looks at one company’s decision to build a giant solar factory in Oregon in the midst of a recession. Oregon Public Broadcasting focuses on the wind industry’s holy grail: figuring out how to store excess energy, whether by pumping water uphill or using electric car batteries.

But those aren’t the only green businesses fueling the regional economy. 

The Kitsap Sun highlights several lesser-known companies, from one helping people find jobs within 25 miles of their home to entrepreneurs using ozone steam instead of chemical sanitizers in the food industry. Another Puget Sound company, The Seattle Times reports, is using solar energy and glass rods to grow algae that might create biofuels, nutritional supplements or an environmentally friendly way to clean up pollution.

For workers, however, the picture is still not so bright. NPR reports on the underemployed and overqualified—engineers working as part-time grocery cashiers or former mid-level managers selling flowers. But the recession still has many feeling trapped in less-than-perfect employment and afraid that leaving any job is too risky.

Check out the rest of the Northwest’s top 10 sustainability headlines at Sightline Daily, or get the news delivered via email each morning by clicking here. All of today’s news can be found here.

Photo courtesy of flickr user Wayfinder 73 via the Creative Commons license.