New Report: Wisconsin Has Potential to Create 35,000 Green Jobs

The Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council, in cooperation with The Green Tier Program at the WI Department of Natural Resources and the WI School of Business have produced the first comprehensive report on Green Jobs for Wisconsin. This report examines how both state and federal governments are working with the private sector to make investments to help speed an economic recovery and position Wisconsin as the green economic leader it should be.

Most of the data available on green jobs is presented at the national level, but most jobs are created at the local level. In order for investment in green industries to successfully transform the U.S. economy, investments must be made in communities from Manitowoc to Hudson, and from Ashland to Beloit. As you will see, the economic crisis does have a silver lining, and can be used as an opportunity to transition to a green economy by creating millions of new jobs.

The green economy can be one of the engines that help the State (and more broadly, the country) recover from the current recession. The jobs that will arise from a green economy will expand the middle class, lift those that are unemployed (or under-employed), and benefit the environment. Wisconsin is already well positioned to be a leader in the green economy. We hope that this report jump-starts that recognition process. This report will look at how we identify green jobs, how we categorize them, and how we count green jobs in Wisconsin. We also make some broad projections of the economic impact of green jobs and the industries that will lead the new green economy. Finally, we will offer some of the most up to date information about initiatives for creating green jobs and the training programs necessary to fill them.

The Apollo Alliance, a national coalition of labor, business, community, and environmental leaders, has created a roadmap for revitalizing America’s manufacturing sector. The Apollo Green Manufacturing Action Plan (GreenMAP) calls for federal investment in the domestic manufacture of clean energy equipment and components, and in making manufacturing plants more energy efficient overall. This program could benefit tens of thousands of U.S. firms capable of making the equipment and components of the clean energy economy, the majority of them located in the twenty states hardest hit by manufacturing job losses.

In the fall of 2008, the Apollo Alliance brought together representatives from academia, industry, labor, and environmental groups to develop strategies for rebuilding domestic manufacturing for the growing clean energy economy. Members of this group include the AFL-CIO, the American Wind Energy Association, the Solar Energy Industries Association, Environmental Defense Fund, the Alliance for American Manufacturing, the National Council for Advanced Manufacturing, the International Economic Development Council, Johnson Controls, Inc., General Motors, the Renewable Energy Policy Project, the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, and the Campaign for America’s Future. This report reflects the results of their labor.

The full report can be found on the website of The Business, Environment & Social Responsibility Program (BESR), housed within the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.