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Gov's Green Jobs and Economy Task Force releases recommendations

Moving forward on his goal to support 100,000 green jobs by 2015, Gov. Martin O'Malley recently held Maryland's first Green Economy Forum at Montgomery Park in Baltimore City. The governor outlined an aggressive plan to create and retain green jobs, support clean and renewable energy, protect Maryland's communities and preserve the State's natural resources.

The plan is based on the findings of the Green Jobs & Industry Task Force, a group of public and private sector leaders including green business owners, industry stakeholders, workforce development experts and cabinet secretaries the Governor assembled in March to develop recommendations to capitalize on the emerging green economy.

As part of the Forum, the Gov. O'Malley also led a roundtable with small business owners, environmental advocates, green industry experts and others to discuss ways to move Maryland forward on clean and renewable energy, environmental remediation and sustainable development.

"Green jobs are growing nationally at a rate two and a half times faster than overall jobs and are not only key to our economic recovery today, but are the jobs that will fuel the economy of tomorrow," says Gov. O'Malley. "Our highly educated workforce, wealth of natural resources and progressive policies makes Maryland uniquely positioned to grow our green economy and create the kinds of jobs that will ensure a more sustainable future for all Marylanders."

"The recommendations presented today clearly demonstrate that Maryland is on the forefront of the emerging green economy," says Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Christian S. Johansson, who chaired the Task Force. "We look forward to working in partnership with employers, entrepreneurs and industry experts to implement relevant and meaningful strategies to help Maryland's green industries create jobs, employ more sustainable practices and preserve our communities."

"As an executive in the emerging green industry, I believe that these recommendations capture the input of many green employers in Maryland," said Kerinia Cusick, Green Jobs & Economy Task Force member and Director, Mid-Atlantic Government Affairs for Sun Edison. "The Task Force team members look forward to continuing our collaboration as these recommendations are implemented."

The Task Force report focused on six key recommendations:

  1. Promote energy and resource efficiency efforts;
  2. Develop and foster clean, local energy production and industrial capacity;
  3. Capitalize upon economic opportunities to restore and protect Maryland's natural resource;
  4. Promote sustainable development practices that create jobs, generate prosperity, and make Maryland more self-reliant;
  5. Increase access to capital for green businesses and projects; and
  6. Strengthen coordination and communication across State agencies, partners, and stakeholders to provide strategic vision for advancing a green economy.

Maryland is home to approximately 75,000 green-sector jobs, ranging from consulting and scientific services to construction and waste management. Since January, Maryland has created 38,000 jobs, a growth rate twice that of the rest of the nation. Maryland's unemployment rate remains 25 percent lower than the national average.

Source: State of Maryland
Writer: Walaika Haskins

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