Recently, the U.S. Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a monumental achievement – the largest of its kind ever – in combatting climate change for our nation and world. The bill includes significant measures to improve the country’s energy security and make meaningful progress in climate action. In addition, it will allow for the creation of new domestic clean-manufacturing jobs.
Provisions in the bill will create 1.4 million to 1.5 million additional jobs in the year 2030. Those jobs will be concentrated in the manufacturing, construction, and service industries according to Energy Innovation, a non-partisan energy and climate policy think tank publication.
Cities like Gary would benefit by adding clean energy industries to their economic development portfolio. Since 2017, renewable energy job creation has risen steadily across the globe from 10.3 million to 11 million in 2018. However, many citizens who grew up in heavy manufacturing areas are confused about the viability of these type of clean-manufacturing jobs. Do they offer a livable wage? Do they offer long term employment opportunities? What are the skill levels?
Green jobs include a broad spectrum of occupations in industries you may already know, such as wind or solar energy, as well as other emerging industries including hydro, biomass, biofuels, geothermal and nuclear energy. These diverse jobs can be found at every stage of one’s career. Further, there are numerous resources available to “skill up” America’s current workforce to adapt to the new green job opportunities.
In an August 2 article, Forbes magazine says the Inflation Reduction Act is “making a down payment on a safe climate future and clean economic growth for decades to come.” Now is the time for a significant investment to ensure the future health and prosperity of Gary and its residents.