Clean jobs

Solar panels on the roof of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 697 LEED-certified headquarters in Merrillville and a wind turbine on its property help power the building and provide training opportunities. Indiana has almost 44,000 clean energy-related jobs, according to a new report, including about 3,900 associated with renewable energy.

File photo

Employment in occupations related to clean energy continues to grow throughout the Midwest, though that growth is slower in Indiana, according to a report prepared by two organizations advocating clean energy policies.

The Clean Jobs Midwest report was issued Tuesday by Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust and the national business group Environmental Entrepreneurs. According to the report, there are nearly 570,000 “clean energy workers” in a 10-state area stretching from Ohio to North Dakota.

“The sector is large and it’s growing in every state,” Clean Energy Trust Public Affairs Director Ian Adams said.

The bulk of the jobs the report counts as “clean” — 83 percent of the approximately 44,000 in Indiana — are related to energy efficiency, including jobs ranging from architects who design LEED-certified buildings to heating, ventilation and air conditioning technicians.

Other job categories include renewable energy, electrical grid, transportation and clean fuels.

Indiana has the lowest projected growth rate for clean jobs, 1.3 percent, as compared to 4.4 percent for the Midwest.

Indiana does not have energy efficiency standards, and is fighting the federal Clean Power Plan issued by the Environmental Protection Agency last year. The report’s backers advocate those standards as a way to encourage employment in their business sector.

Gov. Mike Pence has argued the Clean Power Plan’s standards would harm Indiana’s economy because of its mandated shift away from coal power.

The Clean Jobs Midwest report shows 3,130 jobs in Lake County and 1,186 in Porter. There are nearly 87,000 clean-energy related jobs in the greater Chicago area.

Clean Jobs Midwest is based on federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data and a survey of about 20,000 businesses completed by the firm BW Research. Phil Jordan of BW said the report will serve as a baseline for future study of the clean energy sector.

The Clean Energy Trust is a nonprofit organization that helps establish and support clean energy businesses through investment and advocacy. Environmental Entrepreneurs is a national group of businesspersons, investors and other environmental policy advocates.

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Andrew covers transportation, real estate, casinos and other topics for The Times business section. A Crown Point native, he joined The Times in 2014, and has more than 15 years experience as a reporter and editor at Region newspapers.