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Economic Development

Sept. 26 - Stacey Abrams for Governor campaign releases "Advanced Energy Jobs Plan" to create long-term, high-wage jobs in Georgia

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

September 26, 2017 - The Stacey Abrams for Governor campaign recently released the “Advanced Energy Jobs Plan,” the first in a series of economic development proposals to create high wage jobs in all 159 counties.

“Georgia’s next governor must pursue a bold and diverse array of economic policy proposals to help ensure no Georgian has to work more than one full time job to make ends meet, and catalyze high paying jobs in all 159 counties,” said Stacey Abrams. “We can imagine more for our state and create an economy that leads the nation in advanced energy jobs. From construction and coding to sales and installation to engaging farmers and former factory workers, these are jobs already familiar to Georgians. Under our plan, we will leverage existing and new investments to take advantage of home-grown advanced energy and innovative technologies. With my leadership as governor, Georgia will find smart solutions to fix an economy that has left too many families and communities behind.”

The Advanced Energy Jobs Plan will:

1. Generate significant job growth through advanced energy generation, innovative technologies and energy efficiency efforts;
2. Train and retrain workers for good-paying jobs in advanced energy sectors such as wind, solar, biomass, and hydro; and
3. Coordinate state and local action and develop public-private partnerships for greater impact across the state to implement advanced energy solutions.

Impact on Workers

· Create New Jobs from Manufacturing to Coding: Advanced energy creates career pathways from the entry-level to high skilled across fields and sectors, including initial estimates of 25,000-45,000 jobs. Georgia will expand access to well-paying careers in manufacturing, system design, project development, construction, and installation and operations – all critical to an advanced energy economy. The manufacturing-intensive advanced energy industry promotes work for engineers, machinists, coders and installers, but also administrators, accountants, truck drivers, sales force, and a range of other occupations.

· Develop a Stronger, More Resilient Workforce: Workforce training, apprenticeships, and partnerships with labor and educational institutions will ensure opportunities exist for workers, and Georgia will follow best practices to ensure women gain representation in these non-traditional occupations for women.

· Reach Every Region of Georgia: Advanced energy jobs can be developed across the state of Georgia. Already, places like Mitchell County and Tybee Island have leveraged advanced energy to create new jobs and opportunities through solar, and Georgia’s successful timber industry has created a sustainable market for biomass. Hydro, wind, solar and biomass energy have economic impact across the state, and with collaboration and focus, can become engines of prosperity for more Georgians.

Impact on Consumers and Taxpayers

· Ease Adoption of Advanced Energy and Lower Utility Costs:Georgia will increase ease of adoption of solar and clean energy sources, which can lower the cost of utilities for the average user. By state law, Georgia allows financing for property owners, who may use loans for energy efficiency improvements and make payments on the loan through property tax assessments, but implementation has lagged. Georgia will work with local governments to increase the energy efficiency opportunities for Georgians.

· Generate Savings for Taxpayers: Georgia will adopt green government initiatives that foster energy efficiency and reduce waste, which will not only create jobs but also save taxpayer dollars. Simple action like updating building codes, examining power grids, and shifting to purchasing clean energy vehicles can amount to savings for taxpayers.

Impact on Communities

· Improve Local Economic Opportunity: Clean energy jobs can exist across the state and create micro-economies to support struggling communities. Local governments can use advanced energy to retrain workers and create local jobs, and the positive economic impacts can remain local.

· Harness Local Natural Resources: From wind and hydro opportunities in North Georgia, to biomass in South Georgia and solar capacity across the state, advanced energy innovation uses natural resources in a sustainable manner. Farmers and timberland owners have already begun to use existing landholdings for access to solar farms, and with the right partnerships, Georgia can more effectively utilize our varied topography.

The full plan can be found at www.staceyabrams.com/advancedenergyjobs

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