US President, Barack Obama, has announced a new plan to spur more growth in the American economy. He proposes to harness the extraordinary momentum of the solar industry by training thousands of unemployed military veterans for new solar careers. It's great to see that solar has now come so far from an economic perspective that it is an industry capable of driving significant job growth. It's a big turnaround from the idea that solar needs subsidies. We hope Australia recognises how things have changed in the solar industry, and adapts economic policy to suit.
Here's an excerpt:
US President Barack Obama on Friday said the US economy is being buffeted by slowdowns overseas and made a pitch for his proposals on infrastructure, education and energy as the remedy to sustain growth.
Appearing before an array of solar panels at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, Obama said his administration is setting a goal of training 75,000 workers for the solar industry by 2020, with a special emphasis on military veterans.
“We have had the strongest economy, but we’re impacted by what happens around the world,” Obama said just hours after a US Department of Labor report showed US payrolls increased by 126,000 last month, the smallest monthly gain since December 2013.
US economic security can be assured by rebuilding and repairing the nation’s transportation system and by spurring the growth of alternative energy sources, he said.
The solar industry is adding jobs 10 times faster than the rest of the economy, he said.
The solar initiative includes a plan to make funding from the GI Bill available for veterans pursuing solar workforce training.
A new “Solar Ready Vets” program is set to provide installation training for veterans at 10 military bases in the US, the White House said in a statement on Friday.
“It’s going to train transitioning military personnel for careers in this growing industry,” Obama said at Hill Air Force Base.