The grant was slated to produce not only 2,000 green jobs in Seattle but also help retrofit 2,000 houses in poor neighborhoods as part of a weatherization effort, according to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. However, the mere 14 jobs created by the grant are administrative positions rather than living-wage jobs.
“It’s been a very slow and tedious process,” said Micahel Woo, director or of a social justice and environmental group called Got Green. “It’s almost painful, the number of meetings people have gone to. Those are the people who got jobs. There’s been no real investment for the broader public.”
Economy blamed for lag in green jobs in Seattle
The economy and poor timing are being blamed for Seattle’s failure to generate more green jobs using the $20 million federal grant. At the time when Seattle got the grant award, many low-income people – whom the grant targeted – were experiencing foreclosures and rising unemployment.
As a result, only some hospitals and the Washington Athletic Club have received funding from the grant.
“The outcomes are very disappointing,” said Howard Greenwich, policy director of an economic justice group known as Puget Sound Sage. “I think the city has worked really hard, but no one anticipated just how bad this recession was going to be and the effect it was going to have on this program.”
The goal for Seattle now is to retrofit at least 100 houses each month to create 2,000 jobs by 2013, when the federal grant funding stops.
“We’re not where we want to be, but we have a path forward,” said Joshua Curtis, city manager for Community Power Works, a program that funds low-interest loans for buildings to complete energy-efficient upgrades.
About U.S. Green Technology
U.S. Green Technology was established in January of 2009. U.S. Green Technology‘s mission is to share news and information about the latest advancements in green technologies and green jobs. U.S. Green Technology‘s areas of coverage include providing information on green social media campaigns, changes in green business, spread of the green movement throughout entertainment, green technological invention, new green start-ups, green manufacturing, green building, and green jobs. U.S. Green Technology recently launched a new free business directory for companies to promote their products and services. U.S. Green Technology also offers a green jobs board, powered by Simply Hired, for employers to post green jobs for job seekers interested in careers in the green jobs industries such as clean energy, renewable fuels information technology, green building and green transportation.
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