Alicia Barton McDevitt
CEO and Executive Director at Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC)
It was such a thrill to come on board at MassCEC on the heels of our recent announcement that Massachusetts has seen more than 11 percent job growth in the state’s clean energy sector. Surrounded by students who participate in our clean energy training programs at the State House in Boston, Secretary Sullivan announced the results of our 2012 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report, and I was honored to be there with him.
Clean jobs are growing in the state at a rate nearly 10 times that of the state economy as a whole, and these results shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been following the clean energy revolution underway in Massachusetts.
This job growth is not an accident. It’s by design.
What we’re seeing now is the direct result of the hard work and dedication of the Patrick-Murray Administration, the Legislature, energy industry representatives, environmental groups, municipal leaders and the residents of the Commonwealth who have all come together to commit to clean energy. The Green Jobs Act and the Green Communities Act, both passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Patrick in 2008, have played an instrumental role in accelerating the development and deployment of clean energy technologies in Massachusetts, in turn creating high-quality jobs and reducing the Commonwealth’s dependence on traditional fossil-fuel based energy supplies.
Focusing on clean energy also allows us to focus on home-grown energy. Did you know Massachusetts spends $22 billion on energy annually? Since Massachusetts has no native sources of traditional energy, $18 billion of that money is spent in other regions of the United States and in South America, Canada and the Middle East. Investing in renewable energy keeps those dollars here.
Responses from employers surveyed as part of the report show our policies are working. Below are some highlights.
Nearly two-thirds of the state’s 4,995 clean energy firms employ 10 or fewer workers, meaning this revolution is truly being built from the ground up at the small business level.
Manufacturing and assembly jobs within the clean energy sector grew by 37 percent over the past year, now employing more than 11,000 people across the state. These jobs provide a new industry in which seasoned workers can thrive.
And one final number – 12.4 percent.
That’s the projected growth in the clean energy sector that employers are predicting for the next 12 months. If this estimate holds true, that’s nearly 9,000 more people who will have jobs in the industry by this time next year.
That’s truly something to get excited about. I am happy to be joining MassCEC at this significant moment in our energy history. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and start working with the team at MassCEC – and with our many partners – to build Massachusetts’ clean energy future.