After a wildly successful Sustainability Summit organized largely by Indiana County Office of Planning and Development, and the League of Women Voters last month, the County Commissioners have responded to our requests for an institutional commitment to a new economy by establishing a Sustainability Task Force.
Why a task force? Jobs! Here’s how Commissioner Sherene Hess laid it out:
“A clean energy revolution is taking place across America, underscored by the steady expansion of the U.S. renewable energy sector,” Hess said. “The clean energy industry generates hundreds of billions in economic activity, and is expected to continue to grow. … There is tremendous economic opportunity for the counties that invent, manufacture and export clean energy technologies. Renewable energy and sustainable agriculture can play an important role in rural economic development.”
…the task force will identify and promote sustainable economic initiatives that diversify the county’s economic base by attracting businesses and jobs in the renewable energy sector; that reduce costs for government, agriculture, business and private individuals; and that protect and restore the county’s natural resources.
Perdue said that to achieve those goals, the organizers are recommending that the task force develop an action plan with short- and long-term goals in three categories — economic development, education and job training. The goals may include investigating ways to bring jobs in the renewable energy field into the county; identifying the needs of potential employers in the renewable energy field in order to expand or relocate in the county; identifying and supporting green energy entrepreneurs; planning educational programs to build awareness of sustainable energy opportunities for employment; identifying sustainable practices that will work in the county to contain costs and improve the management of natural resources; educating stakeholders in agriculture, business and government about sustainable practices that will cut costs; identifying current job training at local facilities that promote green technology jobs; and proposing partnerships with local educational institutions to train or retrain people for jobs in the renewable energy sector.
The Center is proud to announce the Thrive Sustainability Summit, Friday April 21, in collaboration with the League of Women Voters, Evergreen Conservancy, and the Indiana County Office of Planning and Development!
Why should YOU attend? The sustainable economy is no longer a pipedream! According to the latest research, there are more than 3 million clean energy jobs in the US – and many more are projected.
Clean vehicles, grid development, energy efficiency, and battery storage are among the fastest growing industries in the country. And in Pennsylvania, renewable energy jobs are growing faster than jobs in fossil fuel. The numbers are even better if you include sustainable agriculture and other clean economy sectors.
Given these exciting developments, you may be asking yourself . . . What can we do to attract economic development to our rural counties and towns? Can we guarantee good jobs and healthy communities in the new sustainable economy? How can we use existing assets to ensure that our communities can once again thrive?
various types of renewable energy and related infrastructure, including regional initiatives by clean energy companies;
the economic potential of sustainable agriculture, eco-tourism, and energy efficiency; and
the emerging field of green chemistry and its potential to transform manufacturing.
Capacity-building sessions will provide tools to measure the economic benefits of sustainable development, as well as strategies for marketing those benefits. We want to help you to attract funding and new businesses to your community.
The THRIVE Summit is specifically designed for municipal officials and staff of local and county governments in rural Southwestern PA. Community members and students who want to become involved by serving on community boards and task forces are also welcome.
Your help is needed. Let’s join together to build thriving communities in the new, sustainable economy!
Friends and members are invited to consider the last year, the policy implications of the 2016 election results, and to look forward in how to promote social justice in 2017. We’ll also have board elections, and figure out how to focus the work we do. And of course, we’ll have plenty of opportunities for you to renew and join the Center!
Let us come together to ensure our communities are supported, protected, and actively engaged in promoting better policy.
These brave folks are featured in the lastest from IUP alum Melissa Troutman, and her production company Public Herald Films. This team of investigative journalists last brought us Triple Divide – which documented fracking across the Pennsylyvania
“Free market forces have recently manifested as ‘fracking’ in Pennsylvania – a high risk method to extract natural gas – that state and federal governments support. But communities hell bent on protecting their rights are fighting back against state and corporate take over – some with success.
So what does it take to defeat a billion-dollar corporation with more rights than you? INVISIBLE HAND tells the story of people figuring out how. One method is by bringing about the Rights of Nature.”
The film documents the stories of Grant Township, and others who pushed back against the weight of big monied gas companies to protect their community. Indiana County is among the epicenters of a movement to reclaim our local authority from the unholy alliance between big gas and our state government. Join us to see how you can help!