Green energy industry pushes job creation for economy

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by By KEELEY CHALMERS, kgw.com

kgw.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 6 at 1:22 PM

Green jobs

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Could the answer to these economic blues be "green"? Some experts say "green jobs" could be the engine for economic growth.

Just ask Bill McLaughlin. He's a certified building analyst with Neil Kelly's Home Performance division. His is job is to weatherize homes and make sure they are energy efficient.

According to Neil Kelly CEO Tom Kelly, the company's Home Performance division is expected to grow dramatically in the coming years.

"We plan on this division potentially having as much as 20 to 30 employees in the next few years and really going from just a few right now," explained Kelly.

Economy experts say in the coming decades these type of "green" jobs will be in high demand. Eban Goodstein is an economics professor at Lewis and Clark College. He says as our government invests in more clean-energy alternatives thousands of "green" jobs will be created in the process. Jobs in industries like wind, wave or solar power.

"You got construction workers putting those things up on roofs. You got truck drivers transporting them from the factories. You got workers here in Oregon assembling solar cell in factories," said Goodstein.

Those workers would then turn around and put their paychecks back into the economy. Goodstein says it's a win-win situation.

"People start to spend and as people spend that provides jobs for other people and you wind up with a positive upward spiral instead of the downward spiral were experiencing right now," said Goodstein.

Some may call it an "energy efficient" light at the end of the tunnel.

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