Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Green Jobs = Good Jobs

As I stated in an early post, The TwiLIGHT Zone, my kind of corporate welfare, using stimulus money to fund long-term green collar jobs was just what the doctor ordered. Today the Idaho Statesman reported that Micron is back at it again trying to find some financial assistance to fund an LED plant development. While scale of the proposal is pretty small, in the near term it would employ less than 200, it is the long term potential that is the most exciting.

The bottom line is that Idaho has to begin to develop the infrastructure and expertise to compete in the Green Economy. As a state we already have several competitive advantages over other places in the United States, namely relatively inexpensive electric rates and an abundance of open space.

As a state legislator, I have committed myself to identifying ways that the State of Idaho can assist in this regard. Certainly industry supporters always clamor for tax incentives, but we must be more creative. First and foremost we must invest in ourselves. If we don't invest in the people of Idaho, then there will be little reason to move here. Second, we need to identify ways to maximize on our competitive advantages.

Unlike the old natural resource based economy of the past, Green Economy jobs are here to stay for a long time. They will require a new type of worker and require an innovative spirit. I believe Idahoans are up to the challenge. The only question is if Idaho's leaders are ready to make the leap.

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