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"Clean energy is generating well-paying green jobs throughout U.S., new Pew study finds"

"Clean energy is generating well-paying green jobs throughout U.S., new Pew
study finds(By Patricia Marroquin via HispanicBusiness.com)The burgeoning clean energy economy is producing well-paying jobsin every
state, led by California, for individuals of all education and skill
levels, a study released Wednesday by The Pew Charitable Trusts shows.And in a double dose of good, green news, Pew projected that the sector
will grow significantly, propelled by higher consumer demand, infusions of
venture capital, and federal and state policy changes.Amid a battered economy, these findings are a welcome sign for everyone,
including Hispanic employees and Hispanic-owned small businesses.""We found that America's clean energy economy is really poised to explode,""
Lori Grange, interim deputy director of the Pew Center on the States, told
HispanicBusiness.com.""These jobs are driving economic growth and environmental sustainability at
a time when America needs both,"" she said. ""There is a potential
competitive advantage for federal and state policy leaders who act now to
spur jobs, businesses and investments in the clean energy sector.""After developing a clear, data-driven definition of the clean energy
economy, Pew conducted a first-ever state-by-state count of jobs, companies
and venture capital investments that supply market demand for
environmentally friendly products and services. The study categorized the
clean energy economy into five areas: clean energy; energy efficiency,
environmentally friendly production; conservation and pollution mitigation;
and training and support.Pew found that from 1998 to 2007, the number of jobs in the clean energy
sector grew nearly two and a half times faster than overall jobs. The
national growth rate for the period was 9.1 percent, in contrast with
traditional jobs, which rose by 3.7 percent. The growth in green jobs came
despite a lack of sustained government support over the past decade. By
2007, the study found, more than 68,200 businesses in all 50 states and the
District of Columbia accounted for about 770,000 jobs.By contrast, the report stated, the well-established and well-funded fossil
fuels sector -- which includes utilities, coal mining, and oil and gas
extraction -- comprised nearly 1.3 million workers in 2007.The private sector views the clean energy economy as a substantial and
growing market opportunity, the report found. It stated that venture
capital investment in clean technology topped $1 billion in 2005; by the
end of 2008 it had ballooned to about $12.6 billion.Among the states, California ranked No. 1 in number of jobs in the clean
energy economy in 2007. ""California has long been a leader in state policy
when it comes to renewable energy and clean technology,"" Grange told
HispanicBusiness.com. Others in the top 10, in descending order, are Texas,
Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey
and Michigan.Pew's definition of clean energy jobs was wide-ranging, including
engineers, plumbers, construction workers, machine setters, administrative
assistants, marketing consultants and teachers. The salaries, too, ran the
spectrum, with annual incomes from $21,000 to $111,000.""What we did find is that this sector is not simply for either low-level
workers or high-level workers. It's really a sector for everybody,"" Grange
said.That diversity of jobs is good news for Hispanics, who stand to benefit
from the employment bounty.Earlier this week, U.S. Rep. Ben R. Lujan, D-New Mexico, told participants
at a legislative technology forum that Hispanics must play key roles in the
emerging clean energy economy.""We all know that as the Latino community continues to increase in numbers
and influence, the success of a clean energy economy is dependent, in part,
on involving the growing Hispanic community,"" Lujan said at the forum for
the Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association (LISTA). ""If
our community is"