Op-ed: Republicans must lead on clean energy jobs
The trend among conservative voters, especially the next generation, has never been more clearly in favor of clean energy.
Our state is known for its hardworking, resilient people. Prior to being elected to the state Senate, I had the privilege of serving as a deputy commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development — and that experience showed me firsthand how a talented and dedicated workforce truly can be transformative for a state’s economy.
I know that if we support Indiana workers, they can accomplish anything. Our leaders in Washington thankfully have passed stimulus packages that offer support for those out of work; but the truth is, people do not want endless checks from the government. They want to get back to work, period.
One of the quickest ways to do that is to target growing industries that are in need. And there is one sector in need that that had been growing four times faster than Indiana jobs overall: advanced energy.
Prior to the shutdown, Indiana’s advanced energy industries employed more than 90,000 people, which is more than auto manufacturing and nearly twice as many as schools and colleges. However, a recent report found that Indiana’s clean energy sector has lost nearly 15,000 jobs in March and April due to the shutdown. But if Congress acts now and puts the right government policies into place, I’m confident those jobs can be recovered.