Dear Fellow Georgians:
We deserve an economy that works in every county, for every Georgian, and helps families thrive — not just survive.
Parts of our state enjoy a strong economy, but too many families and communities are left out of economic success. Despite a reputation for a robust business environment, Georgia is losing middle income households, and it remains one of the top ten states for income inequality and poverty. Nearly a quarter of a million Georgians are unemployed and searching for work their towns cannot produce without partnership from an effective state government.
For too long, the solution has been to promote temporary or potentially unstable job creation in a handful of counties through tax incentives for large corporations. These announcements deliver headlines, but these projects do not always deliver consistent, good-paying jobs.
Georgia must have a bold and comprehensive economic vision to (1) ensure no person has to work more than one full-time job to make ends meet and (2) catalyze the creation of good-paying jobs in all 159 counties, at all skill levels. As a successful entrepreneur who has worked in infrastructure, capital investment and manufacturing, I understand how critical a diverse and thriving economy is to our families – and how we must leverage our natural resources and assets, working together across sectors, to build an economy for every worker.
Our proposal outlines the first in a series of economic development priorities I will spearhead as Georgia’s next governor: Georgia’s Advanced Energy Jobs Plan.
Georgia can deliver high-quality employment for our state by creating an economy that leads the nation in advanced energy jobs and local innovation – using our people, our climate and our ingenuity to expand the path to prosperity for Georgians everywhere.
Advanced energy has become a stable but under-utilized source of economic growth for Georgia.
Our economic future demands bold action. Through our Advanced Energy Jobs Plan, we will lead the South as a state where advanced energy innovation is a core component of our economic expansion.
Georgia deserves a leader who sees clean, advanced energy as a stable source of economic development, a public health necessity, and an environmental justice imperative.
I will build a fair and thriving economy in every county in Georgia. We will consistently invest in Georgia’s home-grown businesses, fight for equality in the workplace, and promote a healthy workforce as essential components to lifting families out of poverty and strengthening the middle class. Georgia’s transition to an advanced energy economy is a crucial component to achieving that reality.
The work to make advanced energy policy a reality that uplifts local communities cannot be fulfilled without first having conversations with Georgians about how it will impact their daily lives. I look forward to traveling the state to share this vision with families and hear more about how we can best work together for our state’s economic future.
Please email [email protected], contact me on Twitter or visit my Facebook page to ask questions about the Advanced Energy Jobs Plan. Then, share your thoughts and your story on our “Share your vision” page.
“Communities in South Georgia, from Camilla to Tybee Island, have already benefited from growing their local economy with solar energy. Stacey Abrams’ plan to expand advanced energy opportunities across the state is essential to helping us build a modern economy where good paying jobs are available to everyone, and not just a select few.”
Representative Al Williams (D-Midway)
"Stacey Abrams understands that fostering advanced energy jobs is critical for the long-term economic growth of Georgia, as this will create high quality jobs across fields and sectors, from manufacturing and construction to coding and operations, in every community across the state."
Mitch Byrd, Business Manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 926 and President of the Georgia State Building and Construction Trades
THE ADVANCED ENERGY JOBS PLAN
The Governor of Georgia has a tremendous capacity to promote advanced energy jobs, spearhead the delivery of advanced energy sources and foster technology innovations across the state.
The delivery of renewable energy will be accomplished via investment in advanced energy sources, particularly solar, biomass and wind energy. Job creation will also be spurred by green building, sustainability initiatives and energy efficiency.
With the right policies, Georgia can gain 25,000 to 45,000 sustainable good-paying advanced energy jobs in the fields of manufacturing, installation, construction, coding and operations.
The Advanced Energy Jobs Plan will:
- Generate significant job growth through advanced energy generation, innovative technologies and energy efficiency efforts
- Train and retrain workers for good-paying jobs in advanced energy sectors such as wind and solar
- Coordinate state and local action and develop public-private partnerships for greater impact across the state to implement advanced energy solutions
Impact on Workers
- Create New Jobs from Manufacturing to Coding: Advanced energy creates career pathways from the entry-level to high-skilled across fields and sectors, including initial estimates of 25,000-40,000 jobs. Georgia will expand access to well-paying careers in manufacturing, system design, project development, construction, and installation and operations – all critical to an advanced energy economy. The manufacturing-intensive advanced energy industry promotes work for engineers, machinists, coders and installers, but also administrators, accountants, truck drivers, sales force, and a range of other occupations.
- Develop a Stronger, More Resilient Workforce: Workforce training, apprenticeships, and partnerships with labor and educational institutions will ensure opportunities exist for all workers, and Georgia will follow best practices to ensure women gain representation in these non-traditional occupations for women.
- Reach Every Region of Georgia: Advanced energy jobs can be developed across the state of Georgia. Already, places like Mitchell County and Tybee Island have leveraged advanced energy to create new jobs and opportunities through solar, and Georgia’s successful timber industry has created a sustainable market for biomass. Hydro, wind, solar and biomass energy have economic impact across the state, and with collaboration and focus, can become engines of prosperity for more Georgians.
Impact on Consumers and Taxpayers
- Ease Adoption of Advanced Energy and Lower Utility Costs: Georgia will increase ease of adoption of solar and clean energy sources, which can lower the cost of utilities for the average user. By state law, Georgia allows financing for property owners, who may use loans for energy efficiency improvements and make payments on the loan through property tax assessments, but implementation has lagged. Georgia will work with local governments to increase the energy efficiency opportunities for Georgians.
- Generate Savings for Taxpayers: Georgia will adopt green government initiatives that foster energy efficiency and reduce waste, which will not only create jobs but also save taxpayer dollars. Simple action like updating building codes, examining power grids, and shifting to purchasing clean energy vehicles can amount to savings for taxpayers.
Impact on Communities
- Improve Local Economic Opportunity: Clean energy jobs can exist across the state and create micro-economies to support struggling communities. Local governments can use advanced energy to retrain workers and create local jobs, and the positive economic impacts can remain local.
- Harness Local Natural Resources: From wind and hydro opportunities in North Georgia, to biomass in South Georgia and solar capacity across the state, advanced energy innovation uses natural resources in a sustainable manner. Farmers and timberland owners have already begun to use existing landholdings for access to solar farms, and with the right partnerships, Georgia can more effectively utilize our varied topography.
“Rural Georgians deserve the opportunity to find high-quality, good-paying jobs where they live. Stacey Abrams’ plan to empower local communities to create jobs at home – without relying on corporations from out of state – is a strong step towards making sure forgotten parts of Georgia get the access to the economic opportunity they deserve. From farmers in Colquitt to laid-off factory workers in Stewart and job seekers in Dougherty, Stacey Abrams has a bold vision for how Georgia can put all of its families back to work.”