Keeping and Creating Jobs in the 21st Century Economy
The BlueGreen Alliance presented on their Jobs21! initiative at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs West Conference highlighting their efforts to create and keep good jobs in the 21st century economy.
Jobs21! National Co-Chair Tarryl Clark led the workshop, which featured Chris Youngmark, the Assistant to the Director in United Steelworkers District 12, Ernie Pacheco, District Energy/Environmental Programs Coordinator, Communications Workers of America, District 9 and Chris Busch, the Director of Policy for the BlueGreen Alliance, discussing the need for strategies and policies to spur the industries of the 21st century. Those industries -- renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation, manufacturing, recycling, broadband Internet, smart grid, and green chemicals and products -- will be the job drivers for years to come, and the industries that the U.S. will be competing against the rest of the world to win good jobs.
"We need to find ways to find common ground," said Clark during her introduction. "Just in the recession alone we lost 7 million jobs across our country. That's where this initiative came from."
"We're looking to not just create jobs, we want high road jobs, we want good jobs," said Busch. "We don't want to just restart the engine of the economy, we want to move in a better direction." Busch discussed the ancilary benefits of growing jobs in the green economy, including increased energy security, less volatile energy costs, and a better environment.
Chris Youngmark focused on the need to build domestic industry, citing "Buy America" policies that can help keep jobs here in the U.S. "When you're going out and spending money, we want it sourced domestically," said Youngmark.
Energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart grid, broadband Internet and greener, safer chemicals were the topics of discussion for Ernie Pacheco. "Government can and should play a role in getting people back to work," said Pacheco. "There's an ocean of jobs out there."
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