Manufacturing Savvy

You Want Loans? We Got 'Em Says U.S. Government

Energy Secretary Chu means business. Last week he announced a new loan guarantee for manufacturers that are involved in renewable energy.

The Commercial Technology Manufacturing Systems and Components solicitation is supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through Section 1705 of the Loan Guarantee Program.

Projects that are eligible include the manufacture of commercial technology renewable energy systems and components, such as wind turbine systems, blades or solar photovoltaic components.

If you are a manufacturer looking for some financial support, it's a two-step process. The first Part I deadline is September 30, 2010, and the first Part II deadline is November 30, 2010. Final part I applications are due November 30, 2010 and final part II applications are due January 31, 2011.

And why are they doing this you might ask?

One word -- JOBS

"The Department's manufacturing solicitation will help more Americans get back to work while accelerating economic development," said Secretary Chu. "To keep pace in the global market, we need to build and expand U.S.-based state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities."

Well not everyone thinks green jobs will solve our unemployment situation. Professor Peter Morici, a Professor of International Business at the University of Maryland and a former Director of Economics at the U.S. International Trade Commission, has said that "industrial policies to promote green industries championed by President Obama will create jobs numbering in the thousands, and will hardly replace the millions lost to the trade deficit."

But some people are true believers and are hitting the road promoting "green" employment. A national bus tour called "The Job's Not Done Tour" which is comprised of a group of labor unions and environmental organizations will visit 17 states and make 30 stops. The tour, which began on August 16, is being staffed by workers in the clean energy sector, also known as green collar workers.

And the U.S. Department of Commerce weighs in about green jobs. In April of this year it issued a report called Measuring the Green Economy.

Staring with data from 2007, the report found that green jobs represented at the broadest sense 2% of the economy, with number ranging from 1.8 million jobs to 2.4 million depending on the definition.

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