Make Green By Working Green | NBC Connecticut

Make Green By Working Green

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Joan McDonald, economic development commissioner, told the AP that the bill could bring more young workers to Connecticut, as well as possibly create new jobs.

    In this economy, it’s hard for many people to find a job, but in Connecticut, there’s one field that people might be overlooking. Not only does it have job openings, but it’s also offering a big incentive to join in.

    That field is the “green” field. On Tuesday, members of the House-Senate Committee on Higher Education and Employment Advancement will decide whether or not to put a bill up to vote that would waive student loans for those who work in “green” jobs, the Associated Press reports.

    “Connecticut's proposal could break new ground. Trying to boost its work force in high-growth green technology, life sciences and health information technology, the state would annually forgive as much as $2,500 of federal and state education loans for up to four years, or 5 percent of loans, whichever is less,” according to the Associated Press.

    Joan McDonald, economic development commissioner, told the AP that the bill could bring more young workers to Connecticut, as well as possibly create new jobs.

    This is an important issue on a national scale as well as statewide as the White House has been emphasizing green jobs and job creation as a whole.

    And there is reason to believe that, if passed, this bill could be successful in achieving those goals. Bills offering similar incentives have helped states in the past attract workers.

    An agriculture loan forgiveness program attracted farmers to Pennsylvania in 2009. In North Dakota, loan forgiveness programs have helped bring teachers into the areas of math, science and English as well as workers into the science, technology, engineering and math areas, the Associated Press Reports.

    And across the country, "loan forgiveness for massive medical school loans is succeeding in drawing doctors and other health professionals to underserved rural and urban areas."

    The criteria for loan forgiveness in Connecticut: earn a bachelor’s or associate’s degree and work in a green job in Connecticut for at least two years. It seems easy enough, and maybe even too good to be true. But, there is one problem facing the state – answering the question “what is a green job?”

    “The proposed legislation defines green technology to include developing alternative fuels or new ways to generate energy and invent or design chemical products and processes to eliminate hazardous substances,” according to the Associated Press.
    But still, some people in Connecticut are on the fence about whether or it’s worth it to work in the green field.

    Richard Clayton, chief of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' division of administrative statistics and labor turnover told the Associated Press, “It seems reasonable if people want to assess this portion of the economy, whether it's growing or contracting.”