SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Green Jobs in the Southeast
Recently, it seems that every politician has the exact same top three priorities: Jobs, Jobs and Jobs. Some of those jobs can come in the form of green jobs. Green jobs vary from manufacturing and construction to sales and consulting.
According to a study conducted by the RES-Alliance, investing in jobs supported by renewable energy would bring significant job gains to the Southeast.
For example, Southface a nonprofit organization that promotes energy-, water- and resource-efficient workplaces, homes and communities throughout the Southeast recently opened a new additon to their campuses. The Southeast Weatherization and Energy Efficiency Training (SWEET) Center provides weatherization and green building classes, workshops and other training programs that will establish and train a green jobs work force ready to enter the green job industry in the Southeast.
PPG Industries, based in Shelby, NC is already putting people back to work manufacturing fiberglass sheets that are used in wind-turbine rotor blades. A modest 20% by 2020 Renewable Energy Standard could enable PPG to employ an additional 250 workers to their already 500 plant employees to keep up with the increased demand for the product.
Suniva, a silicon photovoltaic (PV) cell manufacturer in Georgia, has a 200 plus-strong workforce at the Norcross facility. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided an opportunity for them to invest $5.7 million in tax credits for new green jobs.
A new Green Jobs Report from Tennessee’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development reveals an expanding workforce in the state’s green economy. 43,804 green jobs were counted in 2010 with 3,645 green job vacancies across the state. Sharp Manufacturing Company based in Memphis, recently converted an old-style color television plant to solar-cell module production creating dozens of new clean energy jobs.
These are first-hand examples at how good leadership, effective policy, and innovative business can help create more green jobs in our country and in our region, leading us to a cleaner, energy-independent future.
Sold on green jobs but not sure where to start? Several colleges and organizations offer quick training in the field of your choice and some manufacturing companies partner with neighboring colleges to train future employees. Follow this link for just a few upcoming green job training opportunities here in the Southeast.