At the Midwestern Governors Association Jobs and Energy Forum held in Detroit last week, the group released its Platform for Creating and Retaining Midwestern Jobs in the New Energy Economy (Jobs Platform) and the Midwestern Energy Infrastructure Accord (Infrastructure Accord). These two documents are part of an effort by these Governors to position the Midwest as a leader in the new energy economy.
The Jobs Platform, which was initiated this year by Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as part of her agenda as chair of the MGA, outlines regional goals and strategies for a trained, sustainable workforce. In addition to overarching strategies for job creation and retention, the document lays out technologyspecific strategies in four sectors that form the cornerstone of the Midwest’s jobs and energy leadership: energy efficiency, renewable electricity, bioeconomy, and advanced coal with carbon capture and storage. The MGA’s Infrastructure Accord includes agreements by Midwestern governors to expand transmission capacity, adopt smart grid technologies, build new pipelines for biofuels and for the capture and storage of carbon dioxide, and deploy a refueling system for biofuels and other low-carbon transportation fuels.
MGA has appointed an Advisory Group that developed a set of strategies and policy options that will result in significant impact across the Midwestern region. Advisory Group members used the following guiding principles to inform their work:
Regional: Results in creative cross-border cooperative policies that distinctly and positively impact the Midwest as a region, as well as state and regional economies and labor markets.
Build on Existing Strengths: Work with existing firms and industries to ensure they have the resources and tools necessary to grow their businesses and equip their existing workforce with the skills necessary to compete in the new energy economy.
Forward Looking and Transformative: Establishes or reinforces infrastructure to position existing and emerging industry sectors for growth, and to improve competitive advantage through economic and workforce development initiatives.
Emphasize Quality Jobs: Targets creation and retention of jobs that provide opportunities for worker skill improvement and career advancement; that support middle-class families; and that address projected future labor-force needs for new energy industry sectors.
Sustainable: Demonstrates commitment to sustain policies and strategies for meeting industry and worker needs over time.
Collaborative and Coordinated: Supports teams of workforce and economic development professionals within the states to implement initiatives that are aligned and leverage the resources and services of each state agency and its partners. Nurture Leadership: Identifies and nurtures private- and public-sector leadership to support the workforce and economic development needs and goals of the industry sectors
within the new energy economy.
Replicable/Transferable: Produces outcomes that are applicable and replicable for different industry sectors and/or a mix of states or regions within the states, understanding that each state has different assets to leverage.
Measurable: Encourages accountability that establishes a baseline and uses a framework to define intended impacts and outcomes of the state policy options and cooperative regional agreements.
At the forum, the MGA also released its Midwestern Energy Security and Climate Stewardship Roadmap: Advisory Group Recommendations (Energy Roadmap). These recommendations have been in development since the governors convened in November 2007 and agreed to the goals laid out in the MGA’s Energy Security and Climate Stewardship Platform for the Midwest (Energy Platform). The Energy Roadmap provides a menu of policy options for the region’s governors to adopt that would be most applicable to their state’s individual and unique needs and circumstances to meet the goals of the Energy Platform.
The states participating in the Platform for Creating and Retaining Midwestern Jobs in the New Energy Economy, the Midwestern Energy Infrastructure Accord, and the Midwestern Energy Security and Climate Stewardship Roadmap: Advisory Group Recommendations (Energy Roadmap) are Michigan,South Dakota, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, Illinois and Ohio.
To view the documents or for more information on the forum, visit www.midwesterngovernors.org/energy.htm.
© 2009 – 2011, Tracey de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.