Recovery in Action: Green Jobs Edition
Today the President is hosting an event focused on "Investing in Our Clean Energy Future," with experts from inside and outside government (watch his remarks live-streamed at 12:30). So it’s appropriate that this edition of Recovery in Action focus on green jobs, and given that Susan Hockfield, President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of featured speakers, it’s also appropriate that we start off with an inspiring story out of Massachusetts.
Erin Ailworth of the Boston Globe had an in-depth piece on the "Renewable job market":
If you're readying a resume, it might help to use recycled paper. The clean-tech and green industries in Massachusetts are hiring.
Companies looking to add employees include Aeronautica Windpower in Plymouth, lithium-ion battery maker Boston-Power Inc. in Westborough, and Conservation Services Group, also in Westborough. Eco-friendly experience is a plus, but not required.
The workforce expansions are being partly spurred by the federal economic stimulus package, which includes billions for home energy-efficiency upgrades and an extension of a tax credit for renewable energy technologies such as wind power. Within the next two years, stimulus spending is expected to create or save 79,000 jobs in Massachusetts, and an estimated 3.5 million nationwide, according to the federal government.
Soon after Congress passed the nearly $800 billion bill last month, Stephen Cowell, chief executive of Conservation Services Group, said he told his staff, "Get the resumes together." In the last six months, the energy-efficiency company has hired about 50 employees in its main office. Because of the stimulus bill as well as several new contracts, Cowell plans to add 200 more jobs this year. The company currently employs about 400 and does business in 22 states. At least 30 to 40 of the new jobs will be in Massachusetts, he said.
"We're sort of the tip of the iceberg," Cowell said. "A couple of hundred people will be hired here, but that means that 2,000 people will be hired at the local level to do the work that we spec out and help facilitate."
It goes through company after company and industry after industry from there. And we’re off!
Governor Mitch Daniels announced plans to distribute $132 million in federal stimulus funds for energy conservation. The money will go to weatherization projects for low income homeowners who are already a part of the state's energy assistance program. The program's budget will be expanded by a multiple of 11. Groups looking to do the work can apply beginning next week. "We will be looking for those organizations, non-profit in every case, who can make a good showing that they can achieve the most conservation, help the most Hoosier households per dollar spent in the shortest amount of time," said Gov. Daniels. Daniels said 2300 jobs will be created by the stimulus money.
The federal economic stimulus will send Nevada about $37 million to weatherize buildings and homes and another $28 million to train workers for green jobs, Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford said Friday. The Senate Energy, Infrastructure and Transportation Committee unanimously voted to move forward with Horsford’s bill, SB152, which would set guidelines for how to spend federal economic stimulus money meant to create "green jobs." Horsford said Nevada could get training for at least 3,200 unemployed or underemployed workers, and provide money to weatherize low-income housing, schools and public buildings.
At the 25th annual Home Show, green is in… Among the traditional remodelers, homebuilders and lenders are signs proclaiming the rebates, tax incentives and money-saving offers on the next generation of green building products. Businesses are hoping the incentives, many of them introduced with the recent economic stimulus package, will draw consumers looking to build or renovate into what has been a slow market.
In his latest effort to combat global warming, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to enlist the state's hard-luck youth. The governor on Monday announced the new California Green Corps, a statewide effort to train young adults between 16 and 24 years old to work in the state's fledgling green-tech industry. "It's the kind of program President Obama envisioned when he put together the economic stimulus package. It's all about jobs, jobs, jobs," Schwarzenegger said after touring a solar-installation certificate program at a Sacramento community college. The program will be administered by Schwarzenegger's volunteerism czar Karen Baker and will receive about $20 million in initial funding. Half the money will come from the U.S. Department of Labor as part of the federal stimulus package, while the other half is expected to be raised from the private sector. The idea is to create a 20-month pilot program in at least 10 locations to train at least 1,000 people for jobs such as solar-panel installation and sheet-metal manufacturing for wind turbines, Schwarzenegger said.