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Kalin, Task Force Unveil Green Job Growth Recommendations

Monday, February 16th, 2009 at 10:59 am

jeremykalinST. PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Green Jobs Task Force, a bipartisan coalition of legislators, business leaders, state agencies, policy experts and citizens, today unveiled a comprehensive list of legislative recommendations to retain and grow more than 70,000 jobs in Minnesota by 2020. From construction to corporate, these green collar jobs-including approximately 50,000 retained jobs – would result in an estimated output of $15 billion dollars a year for Minnesota’s economy by 2020.

Kalin on Green Jobs 2/12/09:

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“Minnesota has consistently led the country in passing strong energy and environmental policy,” said Sen. Ellen Anderson (DFL – St.Paul/Falcon Heights) who co-chaired the Task Force with Rep. Jeremy Kalin (DFL – Chisago County).  “It’s time to cash in on those nation-leading policies, and put Minnesotans to work building a modern, competitive green economy.”

The Task Force’s recommendations included a wide variety of new proposals focused largely on the renewable energy, green products, green services and environmental conservation sectors. Those recommendations will begin working their way through the legislative committee process this week. One of the group’s most innovative recommendations is the establishment of a Green Enterprise Authority to help assist new and established businesses find success in Minnesota’s growing green economy.

“The Green Enterprise Authority would be the first of its kind, signaling across the nation Minnesota is open for green business,” said Rep. Kalin. “The primary purpose of the Green Enterprise Authority would be to provide direct green business assistance to break down barriers in government and grow green jobs today. It is a critical, central component of the Green Jobs Task Force plan that will help replace unemployment checks with paychecks, make Minnesota more energy independent, and restore economic prosperity in our state.”

The Task Force also recommended a variety of measures to put people to work weatherizing public buildings, schools, businesses and homes throughout Minnesota. These efforts, which were also a focus of the federal Recovery Act, would result in thousands of jobs for unemployed construction workers and energy savings for Minnesota’s governments and families.

“A lot of construction workers are sitting on the bench right now, ready to get to work,” said Rep. Bob Gunther (R – Fairmont), a member of the Task Force. “Working in collaboration with the federal government, we can maximize Minnesota’s potential for putting thousands of unemployed construction laborers back to work in the next several months – providing government and consumers untold energy savings as well.”

The Green Jobs Task Force was created by the legislature in 2008 in order to create a statewide action plan to “optimize the growth of the green economy.” The members, who were appointed by the legislature and Governor, spent the last six months traveling the state to collaborate with Minnesotans in the private sector, academic leaders and others about their needs in order to generate green business. The group will be releasing an additional set of recommendations regarding the state’s education and training needs in the coming weeks. More information about the Task Force, including its complete Action Plan and Market Analysis, is available online at www.mngreenjobs.com.

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