"We expect this framework will help advance the promise of green jobs being key to our future. The nation cannot continue to fall behind other countries on clean energy manufacturing. America must be a global leader and establish new manufacturing jobs. If we do not act quickly on this opportunity through federal leadership and industry commitment, we will have done a disservice to our citizens. The Framework Agreement is designed to create a Partnership for Progress that doesn’t accept second place, and instead, puts the U.S. at the leading edge of clean energy manufacturing.”
Denise Bode, AWEA CEO, stated, “Our partnership recognizes that, at this time of continuing economic uncertainty and while we are still in the early stages of development of the wind energy sector, support in terms of public policy initiatives is vital.”
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined in the announcement: “We can’t replace our dependence on foreign oil with a dependence on Chinese-made wind turbines. It’s critical that American manufacturers have the resources to develop and deploy wind energy components. Clean energy will help America regain its leadership in manufacturing. We need to ensure American workers and manufacturers are building the clean energy components that will be used around the world.”
In the coming days, AWEA and the USW will release a cooperative action agenda they intend to jointly pursue and advocate for adoption by Congress and the Obama Administration. That agenda will include policies such as a federal Renewable Electricity Standard and the extension of necessary tax incentives.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), added “The Partnership for Progress is a good first step towards ensuring that American workers are at the core of clean energy development in this country. Only when we are relying on U.S. workers to manufacture the building blocks for renewable energy production can we put America firmly back on the road to prosperity.”
The USW’s Gerard expanded on the Framework Agreement by explaining it has four components. “First the agreement calls for an initial assessment of exactly where we are. On any journey, it’s vital that you know where you’re starting from. Second, it calls for results-oriented targets that identify the destination. Third, to get us from here to there, it creates a partnership on a public policy agenda with the goal of enhancing the expansion of domestic supply chains and ensuring that we have the qualified and skilled workers we need. During the journey, it lastly calls for periodic assessments to ensure that the effort stays on track.”
AWEA’s Bode emphasized, “Wind works for America. This framework represents the vast majority of the wind energy sector and is the first major player in the energy industry to clearly show its commitment to utilizing domestically located sources of supply. The American people expect and deserve to have their elected leaders support public policy initiatives that will ensure that all of our goals can be met together. Job creation and long-term economic growth in this sector require the support of a comprehensive public policy agenda. That public policy agenda will require some federal resources, but most importantly, it will require the national commitment to clean and green energy that is essential to the future of the industry. Our partnership will help achieve these goals.”
Gerard said, “The Steelworkers recognize that a stable and secure financial climate allowing AWEA members to plan for the future, while getting the capital to achieve those plans, is a necessary ingredient to expanded utilization of domestic supply chains. USW members, as with all Americans, want to know that we will take every step necessary to create a plan for long-term economic growth. Short-term stimulus must be followed up by ensuring that we will be able to reclaim the American Dream.”
The USW President explained, “The vision of AWEA’s leadership, its board and its members has helped bring us to this point. The Partnership for Progress we have created with this Framework Agreement between AWEA and the Steelworkers can serve as a model for other industries. As our union and its members talk to their political leaders, they will urge not only support for the public policy agenda to fuel the development of the wind energy sector, but that with limited federal resources available to policymakers, priority be given to those sectors that recognize the challenges facing our nation.”
AWEA is the national trade association of America’s wind industry, with more than 2,500 member companies, including global leaders in wind power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers, and the world’s largest wind power trade show. AWEA is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America. Look up information on wind energy at the AWEA Web site. Find insight on industry issues at AWEA’s blog Into the Wind.
The USW is the largest industrial union in North America, representing 850,000 active workers employed in manufacturing, energy, public and the service sectors. It is the dominant union in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, oil, chemicals, cement and glass, but also represents professional and technical workers, nurses, pharmacists, hospital and municipal employees.The USW is a founding organization of the Blue Green Alliance and the Alliance of American Manufacturing.
PARTNERSHIP FOR PROGRESS FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE UNITED STEELWORKERS UNION AND THE AMERICAN WIND ENERGY ASSOCIATION TO PROMOTE THE DEVELOPMENT OF WIND ENERGY IN AMERICA
America faces numerous challenges, including an economy recovering from enormous financial shocks that resulted in millions of lost jobs, a devastated manufacturing sector, an increasing dependence on foreign sources of energy and insufficient progress in confronting the impact of climate change.
Accelerating the deployment of alternative and renewable energy production and enhancing domestic supply chains for this industry can provide the opportunity to address these challenges. Wind energy is one of the key ingredients in this effort and, with the proper combination of incentives and commitments, can create the foundation for a new economic growth and employment agenda while also enhancing our energy and environmental future.
The United Steelworkers Union, the largest industrial union in North America and the American Wind Energy Association, representing the vast majority of companies in the wind energy sector, join in creating a Partnership for Progress. We jointly recognize that the deployment of wind energy facilities are vital to this nation’s energy security, but that deployment must be linked, to the maximum extent practicable, with the development and utilization of domestically-produced materials, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), and component parts. In this way clean energy and good jobs will go hand in hand.
AWEA and the USW will work together toward achieving that goal. The basic components of this Partnership are outlined below and will be expanded in the near future to establish a specific joint USW/AWEA comprehensive action agenda:
-Commitment to work cooperatively to advance a comprehensive public policy agenda that will create the long-term certainty needed to dramatically expand the deployment of wind energy across the country and enhance the ability of OEM’s and component manufacturers with domestic operations to meet the growing needs of the industry;
-Commitment to aggressive development and utilization of OEM’s and suppliers with domestic operations to ensure energy and employment security. Results-oriented targets will be agreed upon to ensure that existing and new sources of supply located here grow, over time, to further enhance our nation’s energy security and assist in our nation’s economic recovery.
-Commitment to the establishment of an inventory of existing sources of supply and joint identification of opportunities to promote new sources of supply located domestically to address gaps in the supply chain. Periodic assessments to measure the success of the Partnership will be conducted to ensure that jointly developed goals are being achieved.
-Commitment to jointly develop training programs to ensure that workers needed in the industry have the skills necessary to meet the growing needs of the entire sector – from wind turbines production to the domestic manufacturing base needed to supply the industry. This will also include joint efforts to ensure that suppliers have the capacity as well as the standards of excellence needed to meet the sector’s needs.