Friday, April 13, 2012

Green Jobs Slow To Sprout

Three years after Obama launched a push to build a job-creating "green" economy, the White House can say that more than 1 million drafty homes have been retrofitted to lower heating and cooling costs, while energy generation from renewable sources such as wind and solar has nearly doubled since 2008.

But the millions of "green jobs" Obama promised have been slow to sprout, disappointing many who had hoped that the $90 billion earmarked for clean-energy efforts in the recession-fighting federal stimulus package would ease unemployment - still above 8 percent in March ...

... "From my perspective it makes more sense for us to arm our clients with the basic skills, rather than saying, 'By golly, you will do something in the green economy or you won't work,'" said Janet Blumen, the head of the Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow, a Las Vegas job-training organization that has seen positions in trucking and accounting go unfilled because training money had been earmarked for green efforts.

A $500 million job-training program has so far helped fewer than 20,000 people find work, far short of its goal.

Republicans, meanwhile, have seized on the failure of solar panel maker Solyndra, which received a $535 million loan guarantee, to argue that White House allies have been the only ones who have benefited from the green jobs push.

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