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Post Press Release: Chicago Advocates Call for the Passage of the Future Energy Jobs Bill

Chicago Advocates Call for the Passage of the Future Energy Jobs Bill

CHICAGO, IL - Advocates for “The Future Energy Jobs Bill” (FEJB) from around Chicago gathered today to voice their support for this momentous bill.  FEJB promises to boost the state’s economy, support low-income programs, preserve 4,200 jobs at ComEd and create thousands of new clean energy jobs by advancing renewable energy development and expanding energy efficiency programs.

Speakers gathered this morning at UIC’s Illinois Medical District to share their passion on preserving benefits for low-income customers and energy efficiency programs available to all customers. Dr. Leon Finney supports Illinois’ “The Future Energy Jobs Bill”  in hopes that it will not only strengthen our economy but create more jobs for the community.

“As part of the bill, ComEd is creating training programs in low-income areas for solar installers. That would change so many people’s lives,” he said at the press conference. “They are also expanding existing programs like, CONSTRUCT, to make sure minority candidates have the skills they need to enter the utility and construction workforce.”

Reverend Booker Steven Vance of Faith in Place expressed the need for training in one of the key areas of difficulty is the lack of training in some of the more technologically advanced areas for people of color.

“‘The Future Energy Jobs’ bill will also provide training programs aimed specifically at former foster children and ex-offenders to give them the skills to compete for thousands of jobs in solar and energy efficiency-focused companies,” he said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve the lives of people so that they can be valuable contributors to the community.”

According to The Solar Foundation’s 2013 National Solar Jobs Census, 19 percent of all solar workers are women, nearly 16 percent are Latino, 7 percent are Asian/Pacific Islander, and 6 percent are African-American. The industry is generally diverse, but women and racial and ethnic minorities make up a smaller share of the solar workforce than of the broader U.S. economy.

ComEd and Exelon addressed their thoughts on the bill about their concerns among some business community members about the impacts this legislation will have on competitive rates in Illinois.

“We have said from the beginning that we wanted the Future Energy Jobs Bill to bring diverse ideas and constituents together to arrive at a comprehensive plan to address the state’s complex energy and economic challenges,” said Joe Dominguez, Exelon’s executive vice president, Governmental and Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy. “In the past week, we have heard from groups and individuals representing a broad cross-section of interests. We have listened to what they had to say and have made changes to the bill based on their input. The proposals emerging today will strengthen Illinois’ commitment to clean energy, deliver billions of dollars in savings from energy efficiency, provide needed support for low-income residents, retain $1.2 billion in economic activity associated with the Quad Cities and Clinton nuclear plants and create thousands of jobs to support our economy.”

Bishop Simon Gordon of Triedstone Full Gospel Baptist Church reminded the people in attendance that this information is something that can be shared with their families so energy savings become an ongoing practice.

“We need these programs to help people take steps to stop living paycheck to paycheck and a create a difference in their lives.”


For video footage from today's press conference, please see attached.

Keywords: ComEd, energy bill, Jobs, Policy and Advocacy

Posted in Business News, Community Highlights