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.
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.
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.
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