As midterm elections approach, candidates are more concerned than ever with job creation. Many incumbents and challengers alike are turning to clean energy as a source of major job growth.
The wind energy industry has employed an average of over 50,000 Americans over the last five years. These jobs have bolstered many communities across the country.
In Oklahoma, the Canadian Valley Technology Center offers a wind technology certification program. The entire graduating class recently received job offers on the same day. All of the jobs pay $17 or more per hour and offer benefits.
If the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics' predictions are correct, wind technology graduates will continue to fare well. By 2022, the number of wind jobs is expected to be 24 percent higher than 2012 numbers. That growth is twice the national employment growth average.
As the Iowa Senate election approaches, many voters want to continue policies that appropriately value low-carbon energy sources – like the federal renewable energy Production Tax Credit. A recent poll found that the vast majority of Midwest voters, including those in Iowa, support wind power. So those running for office in Iowa would be smart to support an industry creating economic benefits that enjoys such high popular support.
With the focus on jobs going into midterm elections, the focus should also on clean energy. As voters enter voting booths, many are likely to have the economy at the top of their minds and wind energy is a great way to deliver on economic growth.