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WindTV: Construction jobs blowing in the wind

WindTV: Construction jobs blowing in the wind

Latest video segment highlights how wind power, PTC drive construction business

The construction sector has long been a key ingredient to a strong American economy, and these days it’s getting a boost from wind power.

That fact comes through in full color in the latest segment on WindTV, the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) vehicle to highlight how wind works for America. The segment features two Iowa-based employees from Mortenson Construction, which builds wind farms around the country.

On the video segment, meet James Bulman, the enthusiastic construction superintendent at the Rolling Hills wind project in southwest Iowa, and Ryan Januszenski, the softer-spoken project manager at the site. In their different ways, they thoughtfully share their appreciation for how the wind industry has given them opportunities as well as how the industry has been a positive force for their communities and for America.

“We have over 250 employees here, and at least 200 of those are local employees,” says Bulman. “So it’s nice to bring a little bit of economics to the local community.”

Januszenski, meanwhile, is well aware not only of what’s going on at the construction site but in the entire wind energy supply chain. Not only have Americans workers done everything from the design and project execution of the wind facility, Januszenski notes, but most of the major components of the turbines being deployed at the site were built in America—and some nearby in the Midwest.

“I love doing what I do. It’s something I enjoy, waking up every morning to go out there and provide renewable energy for the country,” says Januszenski. “I come here every day and feel a great accomplishment that I’m providing for future generations to come.”

New wind projects for Bulman and Januszenski to build, however, are in danger. The federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy is scheduled to expire at the end of the year, and already developers are freezing plans for any new projects for American companies like Mortenson Construction to build. By passing an extension of the PTC, Congress will save American jobs currently in danger of being shipped overseas and help the wind industry support 500,000 American jobs by 2030 as projected by the U.S. Department of Energy in the George W. Bush administration. A new study finds that with stable tax policy the wind industry can create grow to almost 100,000 jobs in the next four years, including growing the wind manufacturing sector by one third to 46,000 American manufacturing jobs. And extending the PTC would keep the wind industry on track toward supporting 500,000 American jobs by 2030.

“It’s a thrill to hear workers like James Bulman and Ryan Januszenski tell their stories about their careers in wind power because these are the people who make our industry happen,” said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. “The wind industry stands ready to keep fueling the construction sector, but Congress must do its part by extending the Production Tax Credit as soon as possible. Layoffs have already begun and will only get worse as we near the expiration deadline.”

WindTV is a showcase of video profiles of Americans whose lives have been positively impacted by the wind energy industry. The site, located at www.awea.org/windtv, features a different video profile each week.

To hear more about the construction side of wind power and how the clean, affordable, homegrown energy source is generating good jobs in America, go to WindTV.

Related articles:

Denver Post endorses PTC extension 'sooner rather than later', January 18, 2012
WindTV: Solid, dependable jobs up in the air, January 12, 2012
Wind power contributes to improving manufacturing jobs picture, January 9, 2012
WSJ op-ed: 'Want Growth? Try Stable Tax Policy', January 5, 2012

Will Congress give gift of wind power jobs to Americans or foreign countries?, January 3, 2012
Fact check: Heritage errs in supporting job-killing tax hike, December 19, 2011
Fact check: Globalwarming.org ignores energy incentive history, December 19, 2011
Blogger sees PTC extension as 'no-brainer', December 15, 2011
Don't hit wind with job-killing tax hike, December 5, 2011
Fact check: Pompeo and Labrador miss mark with subsidy bill, December 1, 2011
Selective Use of Energy Subsidies is Unfair (letter to editor, Washington Times), November 30, 2011
Red State Energy, Red State Jobs, November 29, 2011
Governors' letter urges prompt extension of wind tax incentive, November 16, 2011
Wind power: Keeping America's lunch money at home, November 14, 2011
Clean energy: A bipartisan goal, November 9, 2011
Nonpartisan Congressional report underscores need for stable wind energy policy, October 3, 2011
Iowa Gov. Branstad cites wind jobs, current and future, September 14, 2011

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Carl has been a part of the AWEA team since 2006. He brings both his expertise in communications as well as experience with the evolving wind energy industry to the job of overseeing AWEA's online and written publications including the Wind Energy Weekly, WINDPOWER Update, WINDPOWER Today, and various print materials. He has worked as a journalist in the energy industry as a staff writer for Public Utilities Fortnightly magazine and in the association sector as senior editor at Association Management magazine. He also has covered the home-building industry, where his areas of greatest interest were sustainable development and "smart growth," and has written articles for numerous other publications as a freelance writer. Carl received his B.A. from James Madison University and spent some time in New Orleans employed as a teacher as well as working with homeless youth.

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