Green Jobs Offer Hope In Blue Economy

by | Jan 5, 2009

jobs.jpgWhile Detroit’s automakers are begging for $17.4 billion from taxpayers to prevent their collapse, 80 miles northwest of the city, Hemlock Semiconductor Corp announced a $3 billion expansion that could add 500 more jobs to its current workforce of 1,400, Los Angeles Times reports.

The announcement is a rare piece of good news for the battered Rust Belt state, which has the nation’s highest unemployment rate at 9.6 percent.

According to a recent study from the University of Massachusetts, a $100 billion investment in a green recovery could create 2 million jobs within two years; with a large percentage of the jobs in retrofitting.

There are no precise numbers on how many green jobs exist in the U.S. economy but estimates range from less than 1 million workers to nearly 4 million. Clean-energy industries have been growing even without help from the government. In 2007, investors poured a record $177.2 billion into alternative energy, according to New Energy Finance. But now as the economy slows, clean-energy advocates say U.S. government support is needed to move the sector forward.

Here are four areas in which Kevin Wilhelm, CEO of Sustainable Business Consulting, says Congress and the Obama Administration could work together to help promote “green” jobs and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

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