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Part 1: Creating Green Jobs

KYW Regional Affairs Council

"Growing A Green Economy"

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Through the recession and struggling recovery of the last few years, the green jobs sector has been a bright spot in the local economy.  It's still a very small sector, but local officials see as an area of growth for the future.

Rob Kradzinski says he actually likes crawling around attics, blowing in insulation to make homes more energy-efficient. The Port Richmond resident had been a parking valet when he heard about weatherization training.  Now he's an installer with the Mark Group.

"It's a great job," Kradzinski says.  "I get a great feeling every day when I go home that I helped somebody and saved some energy, and it's great."

Weatherization is a growth area in the green economy.  Buildings account for almost 40 percent of all the energy used in the US, so there is a push make them more efficient.

Here in the Philadelphia area, with so much older housing, there's a lot of potential.  The UK-based company Mark Group, in fact, has its North American headquarters in Philadelphia.

"We've hired over 50 people in the last year, specifically to do home energy efficiency, insulation, air sealing, energy audits, energy assessments," says CEO Jeff Bartos.

Weatherization is just one growth area.  A recent Brookings Institution study found that the Philadelphia region added more than 6,000 new green jobs in the last seven years, and Leanne Krueger-Braneky of the Sustainable Business Network (below right) says they were good jobs.

krueger-braneky leanne side loeb
(Leanne Krueger-Braneky of the Sustainable Business Network. Credit: Pat Loeb)

"The average salary for someone in Philadelphia with a clean job is higher than the average salary for any other Philadelphia job, so I think there's a lot of potential," she tells KYW Newsradio.

But Krueger-Braneky cautions that there's nothing automatic about green job growth. She says to keep the sector growing will require continued, sustained effort by local government and businesses.

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio 1060

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