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Iowa Among the Top States for Clean Energy Job Creation

PHOTO: For the fourth quarter of 2013, some 650 new clean energy jobs were announced in Iowa, fifth highest among US states. Photo Credit: Environmental Entreprenuers
PHOTO: For the fourth quarter of 2013, some 650 new clean energy jobs were announced in Iowa, fifth highest among US states. Photo Credit: Environmental Entreprenuers
March 24, 2014

URBANDALE, Iowa - As the Iowa job market continues to bounce back slowly from the depths of the economic downturn, one industry that's leading the way is clean energy. The state ranked fifth in the nation in the fourth quarter with 650 new jobs announced in such areas as wind energy, biofuels, and recycling.

Among those hoping that trend will continue is Mark Schroder, who runs LED Source of Urbandale.

"We are a LED-lighting-retrofit company," he said. "We do some new construction, but a majority of our business is retrofitting existing business owners. And we're certainly trying to do our part to hire more people and do what we can to keep the economy in Iowa turning."

Schroder said some of his customers are also hiring more staff, thanks to the savings from moving to more-energy-efficient lighting.

The growth in clean energy jobs is not only helping economically, but is also promoted as providing environmental benefits like curbing climate change. That's been helped in recent years in Iowa and across the country with the availability of certain tax credits, but Schroder noted that most of those now have been changed dramatically or eliminated altogether.

"And in fact we've had a few customers tell us that they were going to put their projects on hold due to that particular situation, so we'd certainly like to see that legislation come back," he said. "And it certainly would help not only our business, but many other businesses as well."

Nationwide, nearly 80,000 clean-energy and clean-transportation jobs were announced in 2013, based on more than 260 projects tracked by the nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).

Iowa clean energy jobs information is at CleanEnergyWorksForUs.org.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA