Sep 28, 2009

Green Jobs in a Tough Economy

USA Today this weekend (9-25-09) had a lead article on the state of "Green jobs" in America

Some important points from the article include:

-The competition between competing states to lure green goods producers to their state:
Arizona for instance,"has failed to attract the big solar manufacturers that build mirrors, panels, and other components for solar equipment" even though being thought of as the land of the sun.
But many states,"such as Arizona, are rolling out tax breaks, job training and cash to try to capture a piece of the action and the job growth it promises"

California is of course a leader in the effort to, "supply more power from renewables."

New York, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Texas, Michigan, and Oregon are also states whose governments are focusing on luring Green manufacturers with incentives including seed monies, dropping the number of jobs offered vs traditional industry to receive incentives, and giving the companies preferred facility construction arrangements

-Incentives can not always provide a cost benefit advantage:
"Many states require companies to produce a certain number of jobs over a certain time to get incentives....The cost of failed incentives runs high. In Michigan, just one third of the jobs promised by companies getting state business-tax breaks from 1995 to the end of 2004 ever materialized."

-The Federal Government is increasingly becoming heavily involved:
"The Obama administration estimates that jobs in energy and environmental-related occupations will grow 52% from 2000 through 2016

With the lure of a Green goods manufacturer perhaps becoming the next "Google" coupled with the adverse economy, states are rolling over in hopes that the projections of changes to a renewable goods economy is fulfilled. But it is still a bet and there will be many incentives that go unrewarded by not providing the breadth of jobs or local economic impact promised by the company receiving them.

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