Steal This Idea for Western PA: Green Jobs, Union Apprentices

Indiana Apprenticeship Program

Graduates Its First Green Technicians

March 11, 2010
By Andrea Buffa
Apollo News Service

This Monday, the Apollo Alliance was proud to co-sponsor an event honoring the first “Green Technician” graduates of an Indianapolis training program run by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 481 and the National Electrical Contractors Association of Central Indiana. After receiving their certifications, the newly minted Green Technicians displayed an array of solar panels and a wind turbine they recently installed at the Electrical Training Institute, where they received their instruction.

“Each graduate of the Green Technician program will be an Industry Certified Technician, ready to work on anything from windmills to retrofits of existing buildings that need to become more energy efficient. We are incredibly proud of their achievement,” said Jim Patterson, director of the Electrical Training Institute.

U.S. Representative Andre Carson, D-Ind., and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler were on hand to honor the graduates. “It’s important that American workers stay at the cutting edge of green technology so they can access the high-quality jobs that are being created in the global clean energy economy,” Shuler said. “The race is on to build a 21st century clean energy infrastructure, and the AFL-CIO continues to push for it to be nurtured here in the U.S. and built by American workers.”

Rep. Carson, a supporter of the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act, which was passed by the House in June 2009, said clean energy is the key to renewed prosperity. “The type of training and work being celebrated here today is exactly what we had in mind when we passed clean energy legislation in the House,” he said. “If the Senate will join that effort, we can put clean energy on the fast track and rebuild America’s middle class on a foundation of new, well-paying green jobs.”

The green technician training program is an apprenticeship program that includes classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Apprentices are paid during the course of their training. Click here to learn more about the Indianapolis Electrical Apprenticeship program. For more information about green jobs training programs in general, see the Apollo Alliance’s green-collar jobs web page.

Take Action: Make Sure the Senate Climate Bill Supports U.S. Clean Energy Manufacturing

Any day now, Senators John Kerry, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman will unveil their bipartisan clean energy and climate bill—a bill that actually has the potential to win approval even in the long-gridlocked Senate. If that happens, the United States could finally have a policy in place to reduce dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, lessen our dependence on foreign oil, and set us on a path to a clean energy, good jobs future.

The Apollo Alliance applauds the efforts of Kerry, Graham and Lieberman, but an important question remains: will their bill ensure that increased U.S. demand for clean energy is met by American workers making the solar panels, wind turbines and other products of the clean energy economy?

To ensure that the Kerry/Graham/Lieberman bill takes the necessary steps to help the U.S. become not only a consumer of clean-energy technologies, but also a leading producer of them, the Apollo Alliance is asking our supporters to email their Senators this week, requesting that they urge Sens. Kerry, Graham and Lieberman to put Sen. Sherrod Brown’s Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technologies (IMPACT) Act into their bipartisan climate bill.

Currently, 70 percent of America’s clean energy systems and component parts are manufactured overseas. The IMPACT Act would reverse this trend and ensure that policies that grow our clean energy economy also create good, high-quality manufacturing jobs here in the United States. The IMPACT Act would authorize $30 billion to establish state-level revolving loan funds to help small and medium-sized manufacturers retrain workers and retool facilities for clean energy production. It would also expand funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program to help manufacturers access clean energy supply chains.

The bipartisan climate bill is moving …fast. This week Sen. Kerry told a Greenwire reporter that, “We’re moving very rapidly. … We’re now down to dealing with specific language and negotiating with various interested parties.”

Please help the Apollo Alliance make sure our Senators aren’t moving so fast that they miss an opportunity to create millions of high-quality American jobs in the clean energy economy. Click here to email your Senators in support of the IMPACT Act.

In other news …

*Check out the video of the Apollo Alliance-Center for American Progress “Picking a Winner: How to Make the U.S. a Leader in the Clean Energy Economy” conference. If you weren’t in DC last week to attend the Apollo-CAP clean energy economy conference, you can now watch it online. Speakers included Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; AFL-CIO Deputy Chief of Staff Thea Lee; former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Kathleen McGinty; Jared Bernstein, chief economist and economic policy advisor to Vice President Joseph Biden; and many others. You can also watch a video of U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee being interviewed by Brad Johnson of the Wonk Room just before he made a keynote speech at the “Picking a Winner” conference.

One thought on “Steal This Idea for Western PA: Green Jobs, Union Apprentices”

  1. Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s belittling critique of the Obama administration’s top functionaries has left the president a extreme decision: overlook remarks that fringe on rebelliousness, or terminate his lead commander at a important juncture in Afghanistan. I would not want to be in Obama’s situation right now, even if these two men are assembling now to discuss it through. Pretty dumb to make national negative commentaries about your boss like that though.

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