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PITTSBURGH -- A coalition of union, environmental, government and business leaders today convened Good Jobs, Green Jobs: A National Green Jobs Conference at Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The conference is the first national forum to bring together such a broad range of participants to discuss the economic and employment benefits of a clean energy future and was coordinated by the Blue-Green Alliance, a strategic partnership between the United Steelworkers (USW) and the Sierra Club.
"For the first time at this conference, a national coalition will focus on how solutions to today's environmental challenges can drive economic development and create successful and profitable businesses," said Blue-Green Alliance Executive Director David Foster. "Our goals are to provide a forum for strategic interaction between the different constituents with a stake in the developing a green economy, to showcase key policy initiatives for the rapid expansion of green economic development and to demonstrate to the public the importance and promise of the green energy economy."
Government has an important role to play in establishing the right policy framework upon which the clean energy economy can be built. Pennsylvania's progressive policies in this area provide are an excellent example. Governor Edward G. Rendell will address the conference Friday and describe his state's successful blueprint for making the clean energy future a reality today-a blueprint that has set an example for states across the nation.
"In Pittsburgh and in other cities and communities across Pennsylvania, we're building an economy that's offering fantastic opportunities in green industries," Rendell said. "Whether it's designing or constructing energy efficient buildings, assembling wind turbines or producing environmentally friendly chemicals, these are rapidly growing fields that can create construction and manufacturing jobs for our skilled, hardworking laborers, and high-tech positions in research and development, engineering and chemistry."
"If we commit ourselves to advancing these industries and adopting these technologies," he said, "we can invigorate our economy, spur innovation, and put our men and women to work, while protecting our environment and public health."
USW International President Leo W. Gerard said the conference features a variety of expert keynotes and thought-provoking panel discussions, and said the union plans to continue working with the coalition to promote policies and investment that will help rebuild America's manufacturing base while combating global climate change.
"This coalition of leaders is uniquely qualified to meet the challenges we face today," he said. "Through our collective efforts, we can provide the guidance necessary fulfill this conference's objective of good, green jobs."
The conference will focus on the solutions to America's most pressing economic and environmental problems.