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Green Jobs On the Rise in Massachusetts

Monday, August 20, 2012

 

The state added 7,213 jobs in the clean energy sector over the past 12 months, an increase of 11.2 percent from 2011, according to a new report from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC).

MassCEC, the country's first state entity created with clean energy development as its top goal, said the new growth brings the Commonwealth's total number of clean energy employees to 71,523, representing 1.7 percent of the total workforce in Massachusetts.

"The clean energy sector is emerging as a powerful economic industry in Massachusetts that will continue to generate thousands of jobs in the coming decades, and secure Massachusetts as a national and global leader in clean energy," wrote Richard K. Sullivan, Chairman of the Board at MassCEC, in an introductory letter to the report.

Central Mass growth second in state

Of the state's four regions, Central Mass saw the second most growth in clean energy jobs during the past year with 17.4 percent, just behind Northeast Massachusetts and its gains of 17.5 percent.

The 13,863 jobs in Central Mass put the region in third place for total number of clean energy employees. MassCEC found that the Northeast is home to the most clean energy jobs with 32,362.

Southeast Massachusetts has the second most positions, with 15,046, but clean energy employment in the region fell by 1.6 percent since July 2011.

Based on findings in its 2012 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report, MassCEC is projecting 12.4 percent growth for employment in the Commonwealth's clean energy industries for 2013.

Installation and maintenance employment down

However, the report found that jobs in the installation and maintenance segment of the clean energy industry were down by 12 percent due to the weak construction sector in Massachusetts.

Last week, the Associated General Contractors of America issued a report based on Labor Department data which found 4,000 fewer construction jobs in the state than in 2011.

In its report, MassCEC recommended that the Commonwealth do more to spur residential and commercial installations of clean energy technologies in order to sustain the industry's growth across Massachusetts.

The state's office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and its Department of Energy Resources announced roughly $2.75 million in grant awards to 17 towns during the latest round of Massachusetts Green Community designations, which may help give a boost to installation and maintenance work.

In Central Mass, the city of Leominster and the towns of Berlin and Townsend received a combined $542,000 in grant awards as newly designated Green Communities. Officials will decide what projects the funds will be used for this fall. 

 

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