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Mountain Association for Community Economic Development Mountain Association for Community Economic Development

"MACED understands that systemic change in eastern Kentucky requires the government to be an effective partner in the development of the region. State government has the power to create the conditions needed for positive economic development to happen, turn demonstrations and local strategies into scaled programs, and remove barriers to social, economic and environmental progress. MACED seeks to advance a state policy agenda that supports green job creation, poverty alleviation and improved environmental and health conditions through investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy."

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Nov 22, 2010

Building Clean Energy Careers in Kentucky

by Kristin Tracz — last modified Nov 22, 2010 09:13 AM

A new report by MACED, Building Clean Energy Careers in Kentucky, notes that Kentucky has real potential for job creation in the clean energy economy, but needs changes in energy policy to make those jobs grow and improvements in workforce development to allow more Kentuckians to get the skills needed for those jobs.

A new report by MACED, Building Clean Energy Careers in Kentucky, notes that Kentucky has real potential for job creation in the clean energy economy, but needs changes in energy policy to make those jobs grow and improvements in workforce development to allow more Kentuckians to get the skills needed for those jobs.

 “The emerging clean energy economy has real potential for Kentucky in terms of economic development and job creation opportunities,” said Justin Maxson, President of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED). “But we need stronger state energy policy to grow the demand for workers along with a workforce development infrastructure that meets the sector’s skill needs in ways that low-income Kentuckians can access.”

The report surveys recent studies about the job opportunities in renewable energy and energy efficiency in Kentucky and focuses on the role of workforce development as part of an overall approach to a clean energy economy. The report highlights the importance of a coordinated workforce development strategy built on solid information that maps emerging career pathways in the sector, and underscores the importance of policies that build bridges to new training opportunities for low-income, low-skilled Kentuckians.

Noting the necessary role of stronger state energy policy in spurring job growth and sustaining job opportunities, the report emphasizes that job training is effective only if aligned with a deliberate job creation effort. The report makes recommendations for energy policy change that would support a strong market for renewable energy and energy efficiency in Kentucky, including establishing a portfolio standard for renewable energy generation and energy efficiency savings while expanding financing to spur investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy among energy developers, businesses, institutions and homeowners throughout the Commonwealth.

MACED authored Building Clean Energy Careers in Kentucky as part of the Working Poor Families Project, a national initiative supported by the Annie E. Casey, Ford, Joyce, and C.S. Mott Foundations to examine the conditions of America’s working families. 

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