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Report says green jobs could boost employment in Tennessee

Staff Report • Jan 23, 2009 at 12:00 AM

A new report shows Tennessee could reduce the unemployment rate, reduce manufacturing job losses and increase income growth by investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy.The report “Growing Green: The Potential for Green Job Growth in Tennessee” was prepared by the Research and Statistics Unit of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Employment Security Division and released to the Governor’s Task Force on Energy Policy.“Green jobs have the potential to be an important economic engine for Tennessee,” said Governor Phil Bredesen. “Transferring skills from manufacturing and other industries to the growing green job market could mark a turning point for job creation and retention in our state.”An analysis of five Tennessee energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors – green building, biofuels, wind, solar, and geothermal energy – identified 162 occupations with significant employment potential in Tennessee.“Solving Tennessee’s energy and environmental problems will stimulate our economy at a time when many people are looking for work,” says Commissioner James Neeley. “The report suggests that not only large employers like Hemlock Semiconductor in Clarksville are the answer, but also smaller companies involved with installation and retrofitting of buildings can bring in a lot of work across the state.”Many of the potential gains would be in the same categories of jobs people work in today. For example, construction and modification of green buildings requires electricians, roofers and carpenters. Expansion in biofuels requires chemical engineers, agricultural equipment operators and truck drivers. Construction of wind energy sources requires tool and die makers, metal fabricators and industrial production managers, among many others.Tennessee statistics included in the report are as follows:- With an expenditure of $1.9 billion in Tennessee over a period of two years, it is estimated that around 45,000 new jobs could be created from expanded energy efficiency and renewable energy production.- Early estimates suggest with an accelerated investment effort, Tennessee could gain more than 4,200 full-time jobs in wind and nearly 400 in solar components manufacturing by 2015.- Among the 162 occupations considered to be related to green jobs in Tennessee, three out of four do not require a college education. The complete report, “Growing Green; The Potential for Green Job Growth in Tennessee” can be found by <a href="http://www.state.tn.us/labor-wfd/Publications/EmploymentSecurity/GrowingGreenInTN2008.pdf">CLICKING HERE</a>

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