The Solyndra bankruptcy didn’t just cause problems in the solar industry; it is also causing problems for the entire green jobs movement. Catch up on the latest green jobs drama before you head out for the weekend.
Trouble may be on the horizon for the electric vehicle industry, according to this New York magazine article. At issue is that EV automaker Fisker received a $529 million U.S. Department of Energy loan to manufacture the Karma in the United States. Unfortunately the car will be built in Finland due to a lack of domestic resources.
Maybe the EV industry will survive the Solyndra debacle relatively unscathed and the controversies will stick to the solar industry. In this article, David Sims with ThomasNet News examines SunPower’s dependency on government-backed loans.
“SunPower admits in its SEC filings that it is very dependent on government, without which its revenues would drop. It also says in its SEC filings that it doesn’t have long-term contracts with customers and could lose customers without warning, and that a big slug of its revenues depends on a limited number of customers.”
The author of this editorial is taking issue with the millions of dollars spent on green jobs training programs that have failed to deliver solid, long-lasting jobs to its graduates.
“The latest news from President Barack Obama's Labor Department is that a federal grant doled out from the administration's stimulus program to train and employ people in "green jobs" so far has spent $162 million, but resulted in only 8,035 people getting jobs. That would be bad enough. But only 1,033 of them still were on the job after six months.”
Honestly, this green jobs drama annoys me. I know that green jobs naysayers have to find something wrong or their voices won’t be heard, but in my opinion it is just a lot of hot air. The green jobs training program failures aren’t just limited to training programs for green energy and other eco-friendly jobs. We’re in the middle of some seriously difficult economic times and “normal” job training programs are experiencing the same problems. People are taking the time to gain new job skills every single day, but we don’t see the unemployment rate improving, do we? So this isn’t a green jobs problem, this is a jobs problem.