September 10, 2008
Green Construction Jobs Offer Hope
A large investment from the U.S. government could over the next two years help provide about 2 million jobs and help older buildings become "green."
The $100 billion dollar invested in the construction and steel jobs created appeal to both environmental and construction groups.
"From the point of view of the steelworkers union, the view is quite simple, that a energy efficient green economy creates jobs and it can create jobs in America," says Leo Gerard, president of United Steelworkers.
Gerard also says that the U.S.'s shift towards more wind power options has encouraged the reopening of two financially struggling steel mills. These mills are now in the process of making steel plate for use in new windmills needed.
Besides the work on additional windmills, the retrofitting of older buildings that are not energy efficient will generate jobs for steelworkers, glassmakers and others.
John Podesta, a former Clinton administration official, hopes that half the investment would offer tax incentives to help and motivate private and small businesses with greener options like making their buildings more energy efficient. He also hopes that older building with be updated with current energy saving options, new electrical public transportation will be added to cities and will encourage investors to look into renewable energy.
According to Robert Pollin of the Political Economy Research Institute, the jobs created by the investment would be a boost to economy and the over 800,000 construction jobs lost in the last two years.
"The green jobs plan would spur employment because it spends more on jobs and less on machines and supplies", Pollin said.
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