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Are green jobs on the way?

"Are green jobs on the way?But economist urges realistic, patient approach(By Michael Mccord via Seacoastonline.com)Last week, Gov. John Lynch and the state Executive Council approved $5.3
million for projects designed to create green jobs and encourage efficiency
for businesses and residential home owners.What's not known is how much the multi-pronged approach of Lynch's Green
Jobs Proposal will impact job creation and spur energy efficiency growth.""This initiative is part of our strategy to create opportunities for more
green jobs, lower energy costs and a more sustainable energy future for New
Hampshire,"" Lynch said in announcing the plan for projects financed through
the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Fund.Some of the projects include $2 million for the Business Finance Authority
to establish a low-interest revolving loan fund to help businesses and
nonprofits undertake energy retrofits.To increase public and business community education, the Retail Merchants
Association will receive $1.3 million for public outreach, energy audits,
demonstration projects and retrofits for older buildings — with the goal of
helping businesses significantly reduce the use of fuel oil and other
energy sources.In a bid to develop and expand training of energy efficiency contractors
and auditors, $174,000 will go for classes at Lakes Region Community
College and five other campuses across the state. The funds will be used to
offer scholarships of up to 50 percent to ensure the program is affordable.Great Bay Community College won't be offering those classes this year, in
part because the campus has been focused on completing the final stages of
its relocation from Stratham to Portsmouth. But GBCC President Will Alvero
said his college is planning on offering educational opportunities in the
future.""We will do some green programming and are looking at it down the road,""
Alvero said. ""We will be taking a close look on how we can make an impact.
What can we do to find a niche that allows us to be successful to help the
local economy.""Alvero has no doubt the demand will be there for more green jobs and the
training for them.""Given the move towards making homes and businesses more energy efficient,
it's a great direction to move,"" he said. ""It will depend on how fast we
move down this path.""One of the top goals, said Amy Ignatius, director of the state Energy and
Planning Office, is to provide an economic jump-start on a number of levels
with federal stimulus and state-generated funding.""There is a lot of interest in developing non-government managed energy
services,"" Ignatius said. ""We want to be assured that when these funds are
used that job training and a certification process we are considering will
be in place. We won't be back to ground zero.""Ignatius said despite the economic downtown, a ""market transformation
process"" is under way and initiatives like the latest batch of projects
will help prepare the state for widescale green economic development.""What is unusual today will be commonplace tomorrow,"" she said. ""There's a
lot of interest in developing non-government managed energy services.""A local economist said while the interest is increasing and the Seacoast is
poised to take advantage of it, the development will take time to be fully
felt economically. Ross Gittell of the University of New Hampshire said if
the region and state become an energy technology incubator and a major
environmental services provider, the economic benefits would be strong.""The energy technology jobs, for example, in insulation, design and
manufacture, could be growth areas and have significant potential to add to
an already strong economic base,"" Gittell said. ""With the entrepreneurial
fundamentals already here, we could draw on the research at UNH for the
next generation of energy technology use. This could lead to exports
nationally and internationally. And a lot of the jobs for work in
weatherization and energy ef"