Jessica Lilly Published

Non-Profit Coalition Calls On Leaders To Create Jobs In Emerging Green Economy

A solar array installed this month at housing nonprofit, HOMES, Inc. Solar Solution

A coalition of non-profit organizations is hoping local and national leaders will adopt a plan that they say could create 41,100 jobs in West Virginia. The group called Re-Imagine Appalachia released a blueprint last week.

The ReImagine Appalachia (RA) blueprint calls for environmental and infrastructure improvements across the state. The report suggests work like plugging gas wells, updating HVAC systems in public buildings, reclaiming abandoned mine lands and more. The group also wants to update the electric grid, expand broadband, and relaunch Franklin Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps.

The report takes another step to require such work be performed by union workers. Author Robert Pollin of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) pointed out in a webinar on Thursday, that the plan must have federal investments to succeed.

“If West Virginia were only to get its share of the Thrive Agenda endorsed by active members of Congress, based on population, West Virginia would get $4.4 billion a year. So we have the means to finance this project.”

Researchers also hope West Virginia is included in the anticipated Build Back Better plan from President Joe Biden. The plan is expected to address the pandemic’s influence on the economy for the short-term, in addition to creating job growth and equality across the country.