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Downturn isn't halting C. Ore. green-job growth

"Downturn isn't halting C. Ore. green-job growth(By Kate Ramsayer via Associated Press)There's only so many windy patches of Earth-and even fewer patches close to
transmission lines.So for the next five to 10 years, the wind power industry is going to be
running full steam ahead, said Mike Costanti, principal with Western
Community Energy.""This industry is growing very quickly-and we feel our company will grow
quickly as well,"" Costanti said.He anticipates quadrupling the size of his Bend-based company's development
staff over the next couple of years, with jobs for turbine operators,
lawyers, permit writers, electrical engineers, structural engineers,
construction workers and more.""We have a lot of room for growth,"" Costanti said.A study recently released by the Oregon Employment Department found that
Oregon had more than 51,000 ""green jobs"" in 2008. Even with the economic
downturn, environmentally friendly jobs were projected to increase about 14
percent by 2010. And in Central Oregon, green employers predict that the
area could need people working in a variety of jobs that require a range of
skills-from energy auditors to organic farmers to solar electricians.There are six different stages to develop a wind farm, Costanti said. And
each stage needs people with a different skill set.""You'll have the lawyers who need to put the contracts together,"" he starts
off.And then permitting specialists to get the necessary OKs, he said. Wind
businesses could also use engineers, financing specialists, construction
workers and turbine operators.Western Community Energy currently has seven people in its development
department, Costanti said, and he could see that number increasing to 30
over the next several years. And there's plenty of potential employees to
choose from-the company gets about 20 resumes per week.""It's lit a fire under us to get to work and get as many people to work as
we can,"" he said.And once it gets going, wind can create secondary jobs as well-for people
who sell goods or provide services to the industry.""The people who made money in the gold rush in California and Alaska
weren't the gold miners,"" he said. ""It was the people who were selling the
shovels.""PV Powered, a Bend solar equipment manufacturer, has hired 10 to 12 people
in the past several months, and could add another 40 or so employees by
late 2010 as the solar market grows, said Erick Petersen, vice president of
sales and marketing with the company.""We'd love in 10 years to have PV Powered the largest employer in Bend,"" he
said, though ""it could take awhile.""The company needs engineers and technology professionals, he said, as well
as people familiar with the manufacturing business and how to find ways to
build things efficiently and without waste. There's some overlap with the
high-tech industry as well, he said.But applicants need more than a necessary skill set, he said. People need
to have a passion for the field, he said, and a desire to help build the
industry.""We see lots of smart, well-paid, talented people sending us resumes, but
it takes a little more than that,"" Petersen said. ""You've got to see
renewable energy as more than your next great job opportunity.""Many appear to be seeing the opportunities in installing solar panels, said
Mike Hewitt, the owner and president of E2 Powered, a Bend solar contractor.""Every single program that offers any kind of training in solar, it seems
like it's just swamped,"" he said.It takes a lot of work before people can climb up on a roof and hook up
solar panels-people have to earn an electrical or solar license, and spend
a minimum of 4,000 hours training on the job.""You can't hire somebody who may have technical skills off the street,""
Hewitt said.GreenSavers, a Bend company that conducts energy surveys of buildings to
diagnose areas where energy is wasted, is planning to hire a person with
energy auditing certification from the Building Performance Institute, said