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Congressman: You, too, could have a green job

Congressman: You, too, could have a green job(By Audrey McAvoy via Forbes.com)HONOLULU -- Jobs that reduce greenhouse gases and limit the effect humans

have on the environment may be done by electricians, civil engineers and

roofers, U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie said Monday.Wind farms create jobs for sheet metal workers, machinists and truck

drivers. Retrofitting a building to make it more energy efficient requires

roofers and people who install insulation, the Hawaii Democrat said."The change to green jobs and energy independence is an extension of

existing technology," Abercrombie said. "The jobs associated with it are

not some sort of futuristic Star Trek kind of operation."Abercrombie spoke at a workshop he organized to help local officials learn

how to use federal funds to create "green" jobs. He said he wanted to

spread the message that clean energy jobs are not alien, "pie in the sky"

work."This is not something that has to do with 'those people out there but not

me.' Quite the opposite," the congressman said.Projects created by stimulus money and by clean energy legislation still

pending before Congress would send an estimated $620 million in investment

funds for green jobs to Hawaii, Abercrombie said.That should create 7,000 jobs in the islands, he said."Clean energy investment - that's the way I'm looking at it. I don't look

at this as a subsidy or anything like that. These are investments because

we're trying to make a change," Abercrombie said.About 100 people attended the workshop at Honolulu Community College,

including business leaders, educators and government officials.Myaing Thein, executive director of Pacific Gateway ( GTW - news - people )

Center, a nonprofit organization in Honolulu, said she wanted to learn

about new jobs that might become available for the people her organization

helps."I work with immigrants, refugees and low-income folks," Thein said. "In

job training, as well as job placement, it's going to be important to know."Gov. Linda Lingle has already declared a goal of using renewable energy

sources like wind and solar power for 70 percent of Hawaii's energy's needs

by 2030. Developers have proposed new wind and solar projects on Maui.Van Jones, President Barack Obama's special adviser for green jobs, spoke

to the conference by a video link from Washington.Jones said the federal stimulus packaged included $5 billion in funds to

"weatherize" buildings, or improve insulation and otherwise renovate

buildings so they better hold in heat created by heaters and cold air

created by air conditioners.This money will not only pay workers and take people off unemployment

rolls, it will help the occupants of homes save money by reducing their

energy bills, Jones said.The program will also reduces pollution, because power plants wouldn't need

to burn as much fuel to feed inefficient homes, he said."We don't want a green economy primarily characterized by advanced products

that people pay more money for," Jones said. "We want a green economy

that's primarily about people earning more money. And saving more money."Others at the workshop spoke about educating the "green work force," energy

efficient building construction and federal grant programs.For the latest clean energy jobs from around the world please click here