As your Dec. 15 article “Washington hoping to ride the green economy” stated, Gov. Chris Gregoire has set a goal to create 25,000 green collar jobs by 2020. The next key step is to approve $10 million in funding for green jobs training programs in the upcoming 2009 legislative session.
The green jobs training program is ready; it just needs funding.
Washington businesses need a trained work force ready to weatherize homes, retrofit public buildings to be more energy-efficient, and go to work at an array of other family-wage green collar jobs – jobs that can’t be exported.
The other big opportunity on the table is the governor’s “cap and invest” bill. The bill will create permits to pollute; unfortunately, the governor’s bill is currently slated to give away 90 percent of the pollution permits and only sell 10 percent.
Instead, it should sell all permits at a government-run auction and invest the new revenue in building a new energy economy that promises jobs and economic prosperity for everyone in Washington.
These are policy initiatives that will create a stronger economy and healthier environment for Washington’s future.