Tom Wu, whose proposal to place solar panels atop Tilton School was recently rejected by three Haverhill School Committee members, is one of the speakers. (WHAV News photograph.)
Developing new jobs that meet future needs is the topic of a free talk this Thursday night at Haverhill Public Library.
“Developing Good Green Jobs” is presented by Tom Wu, CEO of Haverhill-based Invaleon; Nancy Hazard, retired director of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association; and Andrew Baker, who has helped green job growth and training at Greenfield Community College, among other assignments.
“This topic is timely because Haverhill is getting a new University of Massachusetts Business/Entrepreneurship Center thanks to Rep. Brian Dempsey,” said organizer Richard Smyth, member of the Green Sanctuary Committee of Haverhill’s Universalist Unitarian Church. “I am especially interested in job equity and seeing new good jobs developed that will also address the climate change challenge.”
The three speakers bring more than 75 years of combined experience in sustainable energy and green job promotion, training and installation.
Wu, whose proposal to place solar panels atop Tilton School was recently rejected by three Haverhill School Committee members, brings an industry perspective to the forum. His company has installed enough solar electric panels to power 1,000 single-family homes in Massachusetts. In his work, he employs many electricians, carpenters and laborers. He plans to talk about workplace shortage issues and how we can promote workforce development in the trades.
“Now that wind and solar installations are cost competitive with electricity generated by oil, gas and coal, there is tremendous opportunity for job growth,” said Hazard. “However, there are legislative barriers to their adoption on the scale that is necessary. To ensure these jobs, legislators need to hear from their constituents. We also need to work in our communities to ensure solar and wind projects can be built, and that energy use in our buildings is reduced.”
Hazard helped Greenfield become the first town designated as an official Green Community in the Commonwealth, which also received Governor Patrick’s Leading by Example award for its efforts. She provides a long-term perspective on renewable energy growth and describe how the city of Greenfield lowered its municipal energy use by 22 percent. Greenfield is now saving more than a half a million dollars on its utility bills each year. She will also discuss Greenfield’s Energy Smart Homes program, and how Greenfield aggregated their electrical use, taking advantage of community choice, so that everyone in Greenfield now uses 100 percent green electricity, generated from wind and solar, at a price that is equal to or less than the going utility rate.
Baker talks about his experience of supporting green job growth and training at Greenfield Community College, as special projects coordinator for the Franklin/Hampshire County Regional Employment Board, and as former director of the Hilltown Community Development Corporation. He also plans to talk about his experience with the state “Solarize” program in his hometown.
“Developing Good Green Jobs” takes place Thursday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m., at Haverhill Public Library, 99 Main St.