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Granholm Says Renewable Energy Sector Will Help Grow Michigan Economy, Create Jobs

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

May 11, 2009

Governor to address 1,400 at Green Today, Jobs Tomorrow Conference
 
LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today said that Michigan's plan to diversify the state's economy by growing the renewable energy sector to create jobs is the right plan for Michigan.  This afternoon, the governor is scheduled to address 1,400 attendees at the Green Today, Jobs Tomorrow conference in Lansing that is bringing together a variety of stakeholders, including business, education and training, labor, environmental, community and faith-based partners who are currently working on various facets of creating a green economy.
           
"By investing in our work force, manufacturing infrastructure, and natural resources, we can make Michigan the state that helps end our nation's dependence on foreign oil and create good- paying jobs in the process." Granholm said.  "Michigan is uniquely positioned to diversify its economy and create jobs by growing the renewable energy sector."
 
Granholm said Michigan's Green Jobs Initiative will help accelerate workers' transition into new jobs.  That initiative, part of the state's No Worker Left Behind program, is a $6 million investment of federal dollars designed to increase the number of green industries and businesses in Michigan.  The Green Jobs Initiative will:

 
-  create green sector skills alliances that bring together business, labor, government and educational leaders who share interest and expertise in a specific green sector of Michigan's economy to develop specific training programs for jobs in these green industries;
 
-  invest in Michigan's community colleges, universities, and training facilities to build their capacity to develop and provide training for green jobs;
 
-  expand No Worker Left Behind to provide tuition support for eligible individuals pursuing approved green-jobs training programs at Michigan colleges and universities.
 
Granholm cited the state's Green Jobs Report, which demonstrates the potential for green jobs in Michigan.  The first ever survey of its kind found that:
 
-  Michigan boasts 109,067 private sector green jobs;
 
-  from 2005 to 2008, a sample of 358 green-related firms added more than 2,500 jobs to Michigan's economy, an employment expansion rate of 7.7 percent - compared to the total Michigan private sector average of negative 5.4 percent;
 
-  among the renewable energy production firms in that sample, the growth rate hit 30 percent;
 
-  green jobs pay well; thirteen of the top 15 sectors of green employment have weekly wages above the overall private sector weekly average;
 
-  education and training are key for green employers; in multiple focus groups, employers emphasized the need for basics in math and reading with additional skills to be acquired on-the-job or in school depending on the precise green job in question.
 
Michigan defines green jobs as jobs directly involved in generating or supporting a firm's green-related products or services.  The state's green economy is defined as being comprised of industries that provide products or services in five areas:  agriculture and natural resource conservation, clean transportation and fuels, increased energy efficiency, pollution prevention or environmental cleanup, and renewable energy production.
 
The Green Jobs Report and the Green Today, Jobs Tomorrow conference is a result of the Green Jobs Initiative.
           
U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Van Jones, President Barack Obama's green jobs advisor, are also scheduled to address the conferees. 
Other prominent speakers include:  U.S. Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth Director Stanley "Skip" Pruss, and Kate Gordon, co-director of the national Apollo Alliance.
           
"This conference brings together an impressive group of stakeholders to build the partnerships necessary to establish Michigan as a national leader in green jobs," Granholm said.
           
Granholm declared today, May 11, as "Green Jobs Day" in Michigan to coincide with the Green Today, Jobs Tomorrow conference. 
 
To view highlights of the report, visit:
www.michigan.gov/documents/nwlb/GJC_MI_GreenJobsReport_Onepage_277834_7.pdf
To view the executive summary of the Green Jobs Report, please visit: www.michigan.gov/documents/nwlb/GJC_Exec_Summary_2_277832_7.pdf
To view the entire Green Jobs Report, please visit:  www.michigan.gov/documents/nwlb/GJC_GreenReport_Print_277833_7.pdf

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