We know that clean energy creates jobs. Growth in the renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean transportation industries has outpaced other economic sectors in recent years. We also know that the industry took a hit in the recent pandemic shutdown, with as much as a 17 percent job loss nationwide. Given demand for energy that reduces costs and addresses climate change, forecasters expect a rebound in the employment numbers as the economy reopens.
Green Energy Ohio has always promoted the economic benefits of clean energy and supported programs that provided training and increased employment. In 2009, GEO hosted five regional workshops and trade shows focused on Green Energy and Green Collar Jobs. The events were co-sponsored by the Ohio Departments of Development and Natural Resources, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, and Ohio Interfaith Power and Light. Columbus State Community College, Cincinnati State Technical & Community College, Owens Community College, Cuyahoga Community College, and Hocking College hosted the workshops, showcasing the training programs in place on their campuses.
Targeting a broad demographic of attendees, the audiences included consumers, energy managers, installers, general contractors, and energy trade professionals. The agendas featured Ohio case studies in solar, wind, biomass, and green building design, as well as policy discussions with local and state elected officials. The Trade Shows afforded participants the opportunity to interact with representatives of numerous companies and organizations, and to learn how to become a part of the clean energy economy.
Many GEO business members maintain active in-house training for their employees, and higher education throughout the state has designed and implemented a wide range of programs to prepare Ohioans for technical, policy, and management careers in sustainability and clean energy. GEO continues to support those efforts.