The Apollo Alliance, a coalition of labor, business, environmental, and community leaders whose mission is to generate green-collar jobs, launched a broad-based campaign to restore millions of American jobs with the release of a comprehensive roadmap for rebuilding U.S. manufacturing capacity to meet the clean energy needs of the future. Its Green Manufacturing Action Plan (GreenMAP) lays out aggressive steps to scale up production of American-made clean energy systems and components while making U.S. factories more energy efficient.
Over the next several weeks, the group's coalition of business, labor, environmental and community leaders will lead a multi-state advertising and advocacy campaign calling for federal investments to enable domestic manufacturers to meet the nation's demand for clean energy solutions.
"We cant let the next generation of energy jobs be in oil fields on the other side of the world. Our energy security and economic revitalization depend on creating and keeping good jobs in the U.S.," said Apollo Alliance Chairman Phil Angelides. "The Apollo Green Manufacturing Plan will put millions of Americans back to work and restore Americas manufacturing leadership."
Apollo Alliances introduction of GreenMAP comes as the administration and Congress are considering policies -- including a renewable energy standard and a carbon pricing program -- that will create unprecedented new demand for clean energy systems and components. Based on data from the Renewable Energy Policy Project and the Energy Information Administration, Apollo Alliance estimates that transitioning to 25% renewable power could generate one million new manufacturing jobs and indirectly create 2.5 million jobs in related industries.
Only 50% of Americas existing wind turbines were manufactured in the U.S., and while the solar cell was invented in the U.S., four countries outpace American production of solar components. Without a bold U.S. effort to retool factories and retrain workers for skilled jobs in new energy sectors, the country will cede the opportunity to reclaim manufacturing jobs and achieve energy security.
The Apollo Green Manufacturing Plan calls for:
- Direct federal funding for clean energy manufacturers to retool facilities and retrain workers to develop, produce and commercialize clean energy technologies.
- Tying federal support to manufacturers ability to meet labor and "Made in America" content standards.
- Federal support to streamline the clean energy components supply chain to make American producers more competitive.
- Increased federal Green Jobs Act funding to enable the American workforce to meet the demands of a clean energy economy.
- Creation of a Presidential Task Force on Clean Energy Manufacturing to coordinate the federal governments efforts and increase our international competitiveness.
"One of the most promising new ventures for manufacturing and rebuilding the American middle class is clean energy," said Jared Bernstein, Vice President Biden's Chief Economist and the executive director of the White House Middle Class Task Force. "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides unprecedented investment in the clean energy sector and green-collar job training. The White House Middle Class Task Force understands that manufacturing can expand opportunities for working men and women to earn wages and benefits that support families and strengthen communities."
The manufacturing sector employs nearly 13 million Americans. Long considered the ticket to the middle class for workers without college degrees, these jobs are disappearing, with many being sent overseas. Since 1999, 4.6 million U.S. manufacturing jobs have been shed, including more than 750,000 since late last year.
"For middle class families who are being squeezed by this economic downturn, clean energy manufacturing jobs could be the answer to their family's security and their communitys re-growth," said U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). "Across Ohio, towns like Toledo, Dayton, Youngstown and Columbus are already leading the way for new clean energy technologies. We have the opportunity now to develop clean energy production and build the workforce to ensure its success."
"By making real investments in the domestic production of advanced batteries, and other alternative energy technologies, we can create good-paying, middle-class American jobs," said U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).
"This nation stands at the crossroads of opportunity for domestic investments in innovation, new technology and energy efficiency that will save jobs, create new jobs and new industries and revitalize American manufacturing," said Richard Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO. "But, the promise of generating good green jobs and capturing the innovation of new technologies will remain just that, a promise, unless we fight to make it so. We are proud to join with the Apollo Alliance in the fight to 'Make it in America.'"
For more information on Apollo Alliance and the GreenMAP, visit www.ApolloAliance.org.