New report highlights clean energy jobs in Colorado, Pennsylvania

Over the past month, E2, a national, nonpartisan business group and partner of the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), published three jobs reports: Clean Jobs America, Clean Jobs Colorado and Clean Jobs Pennsylvania.

Clean Jobs America reported that nearly 3.2 million Americans work in clean energy—in energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean vehicles, and other smaller sectors like energy storage and grid modernization. Wind power supports over 105,000 jobs nation-wide, with jobs in all 50 states. Many of these bring new opportunities to farming and factory towns, since more than 500 U.S. factories build wind-related parts.

E2’s state-specific reports, Clean Jobs Colorado and Clean Jobs Pennsylvania, both include in-depth industry breakdowns by sector. You can also view a map showing where the jobs are down to the metro, county, and legislative district levels.

Here are some major takeaways from the Colorado report:

  • The state hosts more than 57,500 jobs in clean energy.
  • Colorado ranks 7th in the country for jobs in renewable energy.
  • More than 7,300 people work in wind energy alone.
  • Clean energy workers live in all 64 counties across the state.

And the Pennsylvania report finds:

  • Pennsylvania ranks 11th in clean energy jobs with more than 86,200 workers.
  • All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have residents working in clean energy.
  • Around 63 percent of the state’s clean energy jobs are in construction or manufacturing.
  • Renewable energy jobs total 8,714, with 2,677 in wind energy.

Profile: Michael Rucker, Boulder, CO

Additionally, the Colorado report profiles Michael Rucker, the Founder and CEO of Scout Clean Energy, and Co-Founder of Harvest Energy Services, both based in Boulder, CO.

In 2014, Rucker noticed the growing need for operations and maintenance on wind farms and started Harvest Energy Service. The company began with two people and quickly grew to 90, with 75 wind technicians.

Wind technician is one of the country’s two fastest-growing jobs, along with solar installer, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than a third of Harvest’s technicians are also veterans, which isn’t surprising given that the wind industry hires veterans at a rate 72 percent higher than the average U.S. industry.

In 2016, Rucker went on to start Scout Clean Energy, which develops wind farms in more than ten states with 20 full-time employees. Scout’s average project size can take 5 to 7 years to go from field to wind farm. Construction can take nine months and 200 people – 15 doing maintenance full-time.

These reports demonstrate the growing number of opportunities in the clean energy sector. Workers earn family-sustaining wages while moving the country towards the future.

E2 is set to publish more reports this summer featuring states in the Midwest. Keep an eye on their website for report release announcements.

And check out this video for another look at how wind jobs are powering Colorado’s economy forward:

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