National Coalition Launches Campaign to Restore Manufacturing Jobs

April 15, 2009
On April 15, the Apollo Alliance released a comprehensive roadmap for rebuilding U.S. manufacturing capacity to meet the clean energy needs of the future and to restore millions of American jobs.

The Apollo Green Manufacturing Action Plan (GreenMAP) lays out aggressive steps to scale up production of American-made clean energy systems and components while making U.S. factories more energy efficient.

Over the next several weeks, Apollo's national coalition of business, labor, environmental and community leaders will lead a multi-state advertising and advocacy campaign calling for federal investments to enable domestic manufacturers to meet the nation's demand for clean energy solutions.

"We can't let the next generation of energy jobs be in oil fields on the other side of the world. Our energy security and economic revitalization depend on creating and keeping good jobs in the [United States]," said Apollo Alliance Chairman Phil Angelides. "The Apollo Green Manufacturing Plan will put millions of Americans back to work and restore America's manufacturing leadership."

Developed in collaboration with industry, labor, environmental groups, and academic experts the Apollo Green Manufacturing Plan calls for:

Direct federal funding for clean energy manufacturers to retool facilities and retrain workers to develop, produce and commercialize clean energy technologies.
Tying federal support to manufacturers' ability to meet labor and "Made in America" content standards.
Federal support to streamline the clean energy components supply chain to make American producers more competitive.
Increased federal Green Jobs Act funding to enable the American workforce to meet the demands of a clean energy economy.
Creating a Presidential Task Force on Clean Energy Manufacturing to coordinate the federal government's efforts and increase our international competitiveness.

Clean Energy

The manufacturing sector employs nearly 13 million Americans, but these jobs are disappearing, with many being sent overseas. Since 1999, 4.6 million U.S. manufacturing jobs have been shed, including more than 750,000 since late last year.

"For middle class families who are being squeezed by this economic downturn, clean energy manufacturing jobs could be the answer to their family's security and their community's re-growth," said Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. "Across Ohio, towns like Toledo, Dayton, Youngstown and Columbus are already leading the way for new clean energy technologies. We have the opportunity now to develop clean energy production and build the workforce to ensure its success."

"By making real investments in the domestic production of advanced batteries, and other alternative energy technologies, we can create good-paying, middle-class American jobs," added Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. "By investing in green technology, innovation and production here at home, we will ensure that we don't move from a dependence on foreign oil to a dependence on foreign technology."

Apollo Alliance's introduction of GreenMAP comes as the administration and Congress are considering policies – including a renewable energy standard and a carbon pricing program – that will create new demand for clean energy systems and components. Based on data from the Renewable Energy Policy Project and the Energy Information Administration, Apollo Alliance estimates that transitioning to 25 percent renewable power could generate 1 million new manufacturing jobs and indirectly create 2.5 million jobs in related industries.

Made in America

Only 50 percent of America's existing wind turbines were manufactured in the United States, and while the solar cell was invented here, four countries outpace American production of solar components. Without a bold U.S. effort to retool factories and retrain workers for skilled jobs in new energy sectors, the country will cede the opportunity to reclaim manufacturing jobs and achieve energy security.

Apollo Alliance will lead this nationwide campaign to put the "Made in America" manufacturing proposal front and center in Congress's energy and climate talks. A 30-second ad released on April 22 in Ohio will draw attention to the startling gap between America's projected renewable energy needs and the nation's ability to produce clean energy systems and components. State and local Apollo Alliance chapters will organize events in multiple states, calling on leaders in the House and Senate to confront the country's energy and jobs challenges by adopting the GreenMAP.

"This nation stands at the crossroads of opportunity for domestic investments in innovation, new technology and energy efficiency that will save jobs, create new jobs and new industries and revitalize American manufacturing," said Richard Trumka, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO. "But, the promise of generating good green jobs and capturing the innovation of new technologies will remain just that, a promise, unless we fight to make it so."

More information on Apollo Alliance and the GreenMAP.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!