Convene State and Local Workforce Development Stakeholders and Healthy Homes Stakeholders
Between the two stakeholders, there is a lot of funding flowing into communities for both weatherization and energy retrofitting, as well as job training and retraining of dislocated workers shed from jobs during the recession. Both sets of stakeholders have interests in realizing economic benefits and public policy outcomes from the nation's move toward energy efficiency. And how to continue and grow the weatherization and energy retrofitting sector that has been stimulated recently by ARRA requires a complex solution.
I suggest we not ignore the door that has been opened. .
As I understand it, a major post-ARRA challenge to catalyzing longer term economic benefits stimulated by the healthy homes weatherization platforms is the availability of a dependable private market that can can grow longer term employment and better paying jobs in the industry.
So herein lies an interesting possibility and some fertile ground, and possibly some good timing to capitalize on what has been started. Let's commit to figuring out how to create more purposeful "on-ramps' for low income housing residents to green jobs career paths and small business ownership.
We indeed have plenty of all -incomed housing stock and government facilities in this country in need of energy retrofitting to keep private contractors busy well through the the first quarter of this Century... if there were a market demand for the products and services! Imagine the jobs and small business opportunities that could be created. I have heard many descriptions by my energy efficiency colleagues about what needs to be done to reach this outcome.
So my idea: Why not convene some smart people from both groups to determine where the best nexus is and what specifically needs to be done, both in public and private sector policies and investments, to help create that demand leading to longer term jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities?
Why the contribution is important
Because timing is of the essence. We need the jobs to be created, and we need massive retrofitiing and weatherization to increase eneregy efficiency. And the Obama Administration has a policy interest in all facets of this type of triangulation.
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