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Rescued by green jobs?VP praises states’ renewable efforts; says green jobs will save middle class(By Peter Marcus via Denver Daily)Vice President Joe Biden yesterday in Denver praised the state for its

renewable energy efforts and said green jobs will save the middle class.Along with a panel of federal officials, the vice president held the fourth

of his White House Task Force on the Middle Class meetings. The meeting

yesterday was titled “Building a Strong Middle Class Through a Green

Economy” and was held at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the

second such time this year the vice president spoke at the museum.In February, Biden joined President Barack Obama when the president signed

the $787 billion federal economic stimulus package. Just as was the case in

February, Biden again yesterday in Denver said Colorado was leading the

movement to creating jobs in the renewable energy sector.“It’s great to be talking ‘green’ in a city that has been at the forefront

of the movement since before it was fashionable; a city that I think will

be among the cities that lead this country in this new century; a city that

displays a fervor and a passion for environmental awareness that rivals the

fervor and passion you all feel for the Lakers,” joked Biden, referring to

the Denver Nuggets’ current playoff match against the Los Angeles Lakers.Money for job trainingFederal officials yesterday announced $500 million from the recovery

package for grants to prepare workers for careers in the energy efficiency

and renewable energy sectors. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan made the

announcement yesterday in Denver.“It will create green jobsthat will provide a spring board for many of the

families that need to get to where they want to be,” said Biden at the town

hall-like meeting.Biden said there are as many as 450,000 jobs that can be created in the

renewable energy sector.Supporters say green jobs will be the answer for middle class families

struggling through the recession. A Denver-based group, Veterans for Green

Jobs, attended the meeting yesterday to voice their support for federal

assistance in spurring the growth of the renewable energy sector.Other local renewable energy leaders who attended the meeting yesterday

included Blake Jones, president and founder of Boulder-based Namaste Solar

Electric, and Roby Roberts, the government relations director with

Denmark-based Vestas Wind. Vestas is currently investing more than $1.5

billion in new wind power factories across Colorado, which Roberts said

will create around 2,500 jobs.Biden praises HickenlooperMayor John Hickenlooper also received several nods from Biden for his

dedication to sustainable government policy, including the creation of

Greenprint Denver.U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Denver, joined the panel yesterday, arguing

that the future of America rests in its ability to create green jobs.“It’s not just about the economy, it’s about our health care system, it’s

about education and it’s about imagining what the future ought to be,” said

Bennet.Former Senate President Peter Groff, a Democrat from Denver who recently

accepted a job with the Obama administration as the Director of Faith-Based

and Community Initiatives for the U.S. Department of Education, said

yesterday at the meeting that community colleges will be an essential tool

to training the workforce for green job readiness.Jones and Roberts agreed that training is essential. Both said their

companies hire employees based on how well trained they are in the solar

and wind power fields, respectively.Local environmental groups were quick to praise the vice president for his

meeting and announcement in Denver yesterday.“Vice President Joe Biden hit the nail on the head when he said that he and

the Obama administration ‘get it’ when it comes to the nexus between

building a clean energy economy and ensuring America is on the