20 Ideas for Job Creation: Keep Focused on Clean Energy

With the word “jobs” on the lips of every policymaker in the country, here are some of the best ideas for creating well-paying employment opportunities for a wide range of people throughout the U.S.

Forget a top-10 list, we’re jumping straight to a top-20 list for job creation in 2012 – and clean energy, environmental standards and efficiency dominate the list. This list was not compiled by Climate Progress. It was compiled by the editorial team at the Center for American Progress. Many of the ideas are extensions of CAP’s “Meeting the Jobs Challenge” initiative launched in 2009. — Stephen Lacey

20 Ways to Create Jobs

1. Upgrade our nation’s roads, bridges, and other basic infrastructure: 18,000 new jobs for every $1 billion invested.

2. Launch a rehab-to-rent program to turn tens of thousands of government-owned foreclosed homes into affordable rental housing, stabilize neighborhoods, and put construction workers back on the job: 20,000 new jobs a year.

3. Implement new EPA rules governing toxic emissions from power plants: 40,000 new direct jobs.

4. Protect health care reform, which will reduce health insurance premiums, expand coverage, and create jobs: 250,000 to 400,000 new jobs a year for the next decade.

5. Retrofit for energy efficiency just 40 percent of the nation’s residential and commercial building stock and unleash massive demand for domestic labor: more than 625,000 new jobs over a decade.

6. Extend emergency unemployment benefits to long-term unemployed workers hurt by the economic downturn: more than 700,000 jobs.

7. Expand the payroll tax cut for employees and extend it to employers through 2012: more than 1 million jobs.

8. Extend national service programs to provide young people with full-time positions in AmeriCorps, VISTA, YouthBuild, and the youth service and conservation corps: 60,000 new jobs.

9. Pass Home Star, Building Star, and Rural Star legislation to make homes and buildings energy efficient while supporting the hard-hit construction industry: 250,000 new jobs a year.

10. Reduce the nation’s dropout rate by half to add $9.6 billion in economic growth and $713 million in increased tax revenue: 54,000 new jobs.

11. Convert offshore wind power to electricity: 20 direct jobs for each megawatt produced in the United States.

12. Protect funding for community health centers over the next five years to provide health and related services at clinics and in the local business communities: 300,000 new jobs.

13. Protect the National Park Service from budget cuts, corporate interests, and antigovernment rhetoric to support jobs in outdoor recreation across the country: 247,000 jobs.

14. Increase freight rail capital investment: 7,800 direct and indirect jobs for every $1 billion invested.

15. Create a $10 billion trial-employment program with potential to help an estimated 1 million small businesses and startups hire long-term unemployed workers: 2 million new job opportunities.

16. Construct new power transmission lines to reshape our electric transmission grid and create new employment: Generating 20 percent of power with wind can create more than 500,000 jobs.

17. Expand the federal “jobs accelerator” program: Just $200 million in funding could result in 1,800 new businesses employing thousands of workers.

18. Reject a federal proposal to mandate employer use of the E-Verify eligibility verification system and protect 770,000 American jobs.

19. Revamp small-business financial assistance programs to better serve the needs of innovative, high-growth potential startup firms.

20. Create a “common application” for federal programs that foster the growth of small businesses.

Related Post:

7 Responses to 20 Ideas for Job Creation: Keep Focused on Clean Energy

  1. A Siegel says:

    Excellent … however you are gapped what remains, to me, one of the most powerful concepts that I’ve seen (which then incorporates some of your elements): Ed Mazria/Architecture 2030’s concept of buying down total mortgages (both commercial and residential) based on investing to improve energy efficiency. Perhaps $200 billion in investment cost over a 3-year period that would generate >$2 trillion in activity in some of the most depressed parts of the economy (construction workers) across essentially all of the country … perhaps in the range of 10 million jobs through those 3 years (and, then, likely many continuing) … and, remember the word investment? Likely that Federal government would recoup more than that $200 billion in costs due to improved tax revenues and reduced social costs (such as reduced unemployment payments). See here:

  2. Wes Rolley says:

    Yes. Mazria is so frequently correct and so rarely cited.

  3. As Tom L. Friedman wrote discussed in his book, “Hot, Flat, and Crowded” the key to being a world leader is going to come down to how well a country responds to the green revolution. Countries that don’t put money and jobs towards green innovations will suffer the consequences in years to come.

  4. A Siegel says:

    This post inspired me … here are ideas 21-30 for Clean Energy Job creation:

  5. Mark Shapiro says:

    Yes, thanks for the link to Architecture2030’s site.

    I wish them, and every green builder, success.

  6. David B. Benson says:

    I am for technical and environmental reasons rathr down on wind turbines. A primary lack is considering what is being used instead when the wind is not blowing. The generation used instead is called a balancing agent. It runs about 3/4ths of the time.

    Ordinarily an increasingly natgas burners are used for this purpose; wherever wind tfarms go in natgas burners follow. There is evidence for this from several regions. As burning natgas adds about as much carbon dioxide as burning coal (counting losses, some figure it is actually a bit worse) the net effect of using wind genration does little for the state of the climate.

    This objection could be met by increased use of pumped hydro storage but unfortunately that is rather expensive and requires suitable terrain.

    Far better is to replace coal burners by NPPs. As in France the NPPs can be ramped to meet much of the diurnal load fluctuation.

  7. Rogerd says:

    Those 20 are great ideas and A.Siegel’s 21-30 ideas are good too. Now, if only the governments are listening. In my own country we are going through a great economic crisis with millions of people out of jobs and unable to support their families. Helping the construction industry will have a cascading effect on other parts of the economy too.