September 8, 2017 Read More →

Where Jobs Are Being Created in Minnesota

Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Jobs related to clean energy in Minnesota have grown 5.3 percent over the past year, a significant uptick that prompted a bipartisan team of state lawmakers and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to call Thursday for boosting the state’s renewable energy goals in 2018.

Over the last year, the state added 2,893 jobs in the clean energy industry for a total of 57,351 jobs, according to a new report from the nonprofit group Clean Energy Economy Minnesota, an industry-led nonprofit group. That’s nearly four times faster than the overall job growth rate in Minnesota — and evidence that the state should keep up the momentum, officials said in a news conference at the State Capitol.

Clean energy jobs now comprise 1.9 percent of the state’s total employment, with the bulk of those jobs involved with increasing energy efficiency, in buildings for instance.

Lawmakers said Minnesota should continue to act independently on its renewable energy goals, even as President Donald Trump and others in the federal government prioritize more traditional energy sources, like coal, over development in wind, solar, biomass or other renewable options.

The energy efficiency sector accounted for 86.1 percent or 49,359 of clean energy jobs in Minnesota, according to the study. Energy efficiency jobs include workers involved in trades such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) that make buildings more energy efficient.

The category also includes manufacturers of energy efficient products, such as window makers Marvin Cos. and Andersen Windows. Clean Energy Economy includes jobs that only partly involve clean energy. So an HVAC worker might be working on both traditional and clean-energy related projects; ditto for window manufacturers.

More: Tribune Editorial: Coal is gone, let’s diversify

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