Joe Biden on Philadelphia's Green Jobs
This past Friday, the first meeting for the White House task force for Middle Class Families was held at Philadelphia’s University of Pennsylvania. Vice President Joe Biden spoke to the audience about how green jobs can help our economy, and what steps we can take in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania to increase opportunity.
Biden said that green jobs are more likely to be unionized, and that green jobs pay 10-20% more. (Not too shabby during a time when every penny counts.) Biden defined green jobs as providing products and services that use renewable energy resources, reduce pollution, and conserve energy and natural resources. What’s the latest happening in Philadelphia to increase green jobs?
- Last Thursday, the John F. and James L. Knight Foundation announced they were giving a generous $1.3 million in grants to Philadelphia and nonprofit businesses to launch a school that will teach people green job skills.
- Mayor Nutter created the Sustainability Advisory Board this past September. The SAB’s board provides Philly’s first venue for collaboration between government, non-profits and the private sector. The Office of Sustainability and the SAB work to boost the city’s growing green economy (one of the reasons The White House task force kicked of in Philadelphia.)
- Philadelphia has insulated and caulked 5,000 low-income homes this past year. Though Mark Alan Hughes, Mayor Nutter’s sustainability director, acknowledges that federal stimulus money could expand that program to save even more energy and create more middle-class jobs.
- The Nutter Administration has set specific energy-reduction targets. In 2008, Philadelphia spent $82.5 million on energy and estimates predict the cost will rise to $104.3 million by 2015. The target for 2015 is $68 million.
Posted by Beth