The latest data compiled by The Green Jobs Report indicates that manufacturers in the solar and wind power industry are eager to move forward on plans to expand production and create new green collar jobs despite the current economic crisis. Media reports issued between November 16th and November 22nd, 2008 detailed plans by seven solar and wind sector manufacturing companies to create a total of 4, 130 new green collar jobs through expanded operations.
A press release issued by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and posted on the website News Blaze on November 17 detailed OptiSolar's plans to create 1,000 green collar jobs at new manufacturing plant in Sacremento, California.
Brevini USA is planning to build a new manufacturing facility in Yorktown, Indiana that will eventually employ 450 workers according to a November 18th report in the Anderson Herald Bulletin. A press release issued by the company said that the facility would be dedicated to designing and manufacturing main driver gear boxes for the wind turbine industry.
Also on November 18th, Providence Business News covered the opening of Konarka Technologies, Inc.’s new manufacturing facility in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The facility will be the world’s largest roll-to-roll flexible thin film solar manufacturing facility and will employ 100 workers within two to three years, according to a press release issued by the company.
A November 19th story posted on NJ.com detailed Amelio Solar’s proposal to locate a new solar panel manufacturing plant in Vineland, New Jersey. If approved, the facility will create 130 to 175 new jobs.
On November 20th, Forbes.com published an AP article on SCHOTT Solar’s new manufacturing plant in Albuquerque. A press release issue by the company states that the plant will eventually employ 1,500 people.
Also on November 20th, a story about Shoal Technology’s plans for a new plant in Portland, Tennessee appeared in the Nashville Business Journal . The new plant will one day employ 450 workers.
Finally, CBS Evening News covered TPI Composites plans for a new wind blade factory in Newton, Iowa during its nightly report on November 21st. A press release issued by the company said that in time the factory will employ 500 in a community that was hard hit by Whirlpool’s acquisition of the company Maytag in 2006.
“In 2006, after an acquisition by Whirlpool, the former Maytag offices and plants in Newton were closed, putting 1,800 people out of work and ending a century-old legacy of washing machine manufacturing. Today, Newton boasts two wind energy firms, and Iowa is one of the leading wind producing states in the country," the release stated.
The reports came at a time when President-Elect Barack Obama was detailing the roll that green technologies could play in solving the nation's economic woes.
"We’ll put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our children, and building wind farms and solar panels; fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technologies that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead," Obama said last week.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced that U.S. economy lost 90,000 manufacturing jobs in October, including 9,000 in the motor vehicles and parts sector alone.
The Green Jobs Report has documented plans by 20 solar and wind manufacturing companies to create 10,490 new green collar jobs since it began monitoring media reports on October 24, 2008.