By: Marco Lopez- A+ Media
(March 14, 2012 Fresno CA)— In the Valley, where jobs are hard to come by, and with unemployment continuing to linger and worsen across the state; Valley leaders are getting things done. As a solution, current clean-energy pioneers met to discuss, educate, and inform constituents of upcoming opportunities.
During the seminar, state officials caution that California remains one of the “worst-off” states for jobs, especially in the Central Valley where the unemployment rate remains on the rise. As of December 2011, unemployment rates in Fresno and Kings County alone were at 16.9 percent. In Merced County the rates stood at 19.5, up from the previous 18.1 percent. While the state unemployment rate currently sits at 10.9 percent.
For this reason San Joaquin Valley LEAP and Regional Green Jobs joined forces to bring about critical information on the state of clean energy in California and the San Joaquin Valley. The meeting was held at the Small Business Administration facility in Fresno California on March 14, 2012. The most pressing topic aside from renewable energy was the creation of jobs across the golden state. “This is exactly the information industries in our area have needed” said Courtney Kalashian from the SJV Clean Energy Organization (www.sjvcleanenergy.org).
Rhonda Mills, of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technology (CEERT also known as the clean energy hub in California, http://www.ceert.org) presented those in attendance with upcoming clean energy opportunity information and case studies from successes and challenges in other regions of the state.
CEERT designs and fights for policies that promote global warming solutions and increased reliance on clean, renewable energy sources of California and the west. They carry out technical policy-making, and policy implementing work through advocacy programs that focus on key renewable-energy development issues.
Mills expanded on the benefits offered from clean energy, along with employment information and future business opportunities. She shared data regarding current and future clean energy projects, policies, as well as those in the pipeline.
During the presentation Mills pointed to Governor Brown’s goals during his campaign when he presented a “Clean Energy Plan” which would increase the states’ renewable energy capacity. The plan could also create 2-3 times as many jobs as equivalent investments in fossil fuel.
Mills stated, “Governor Brown has a goal where he wants to build 12,000 mega watts of solar power or distribute generators like fuel cells and bio-methane generators throughout California. They have been working on it for a year, talking to everybody, trying to figure out how to do it.”
Among the attendees was Fresno City Council Member Oliver Baines, who praised both organizations and their efforts. “We are a fan of the work Valley LEAP is doing, we are trying to be a great partner with renewable energy and the jobs that are created by it. We are trying to learn more, trying to figure out how we interject the city into this, and how we can incorporate more education and investment in renewable energy and green solutions.” Stated the council member while accompanied by Valley LEAP’s Executive Director, Rey Leon and his Chief of Staff on either side.
In California, CEERT is continuing to champion clean and renewable energy. In Fresno County groups such as San Joaquin Valley LEAP, Regional Green Jobs Coalition and Clean Energy Organization are spearheading the green energy movement. With jobs down across the state, particularly in the Central Valley, it’s no coincidence that many are taking notice of their work and its importance.