By Jami Miedema

While many are talking about unemployment and layoffs in manufacturing work, one industry is experiencing rapid growth throughout the country.  This booming, prosperous industry is alternative energy, and it may be the answer to helping not only our environment, but our economy as well.

Throughout the U.S., there is great potential for wind energy options, especially on our coasts, in the West, and the Great Plains states.  Also, according to the Department of Energy’s website,, there’s large potential for solar energy that covers a vast area of the Southwest.  Both alternative energy industries have been seeing growth in production and investment in recent years, and further expansion will increase the need for skilled workers in these industries.

Randall Swisher, executive director of American Wind Energy Association, told The Associated Press that nearly 500,000 new jobs in the wind industry would be created in the next 20 years.¹  This means that jobs related to the manufacturing, construction, and supporting operations of these sectors will be on the rise too.

Some roadblocks may hinder this expansion as tax breaks expire and training programs to educate workers with necessary skills are lacking.  Without assistance, it may not be profitable to pursue green alternatives.  Even so, many are confident that this flourishing industry will be the answer to restore lost jobs across the nation.

1.“Green collar jobs seen as prosperous.” The Associated Press.