Green Jobs Advocacy Day Hits The Capitol

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Today is Green Jobs Advocacy Day, a day in which thousands of advocates from around the country are gathering on Capitol Hill to lobby for good-paying green jobs.

According to a report released yesterday by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich) and Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash), “Requiring that green-sector companies receiving economic development subsidies provide wages and benefits high enough to allow workers to achieve self-sufficiency standards will help realize the promise of the clean-energy revolution.”

The newly released Global Insight study stated that 10 percent of job growth in the U.S. is likely to be green by 2038, making it the fastest growing sector in the country. The report also stated that its results suggest “that wind and solar manufacturing workers earn more than the typical employee at a Wal-Mart store, but it would be a stretch to say that all of them have good jobs.”

Attendees to Green Jobs Advocacy Day are hoping to establish fair wages and other benefits for new, green jobs. - Greensage.com

Attendees to Green Jobs Advocacy Day are hoping to establish fair wages and other benefits for new, green jobs. – Greensage.com

The day is also part of the Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference in Washington, D.C., an event running through Friday of this week gathering over 2,000 labor, environmental and business leaders who are pursuing innovative environmental investments, including energy efficiency, renewable energy and green technologies.

The 2009 Conference will “be the leading forum in 2009 for shaping the national debate about investment in clean energy and green technologies, and for sharing ideas and strategies for a refashioned, green economy.”

Newly appointed U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will also address the conference on Friday evening.

Green Jobs Moving Forward

On the heels of this conference and the release of the Global Insight report, the Wal-Mart Foundation announced yesterday that it will award $5.7 million in grants to the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Veterans Green Jobs to support the creation of green jobs in the U.S.

“We understand how important building a green workforce is to the future of America, and the Wal-Mart Foundation is committed to helping create job growth that also sustains our environment,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. “Realizing that one of the greatest barriers to creating green jobs is the lack of a trained workforce, the Wal-Mart Foundation’s grants will help break through this barrier and enable more American workers to be trained and ready to contribute in this growing sector.”

Manny Diaz,  president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and mayor of Miami, praised the grant, saying “Given that 85 percent of all green jobs are expected to be located in cities and their metro areas in the coming years, this grant could not come at a better time.”

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