Current and Upcoming Campaign and Program Areas
Tennessee is in a position to emerge as a leader of the sustainable economy and put people to work in good-paying green jobs that cannot be outsourced. Tennessee has already attracted several large clean energy manufacturing plants such as Nissan and Hemlock and is third in the nation for solar panel manufacturing. Nashville ranked 11th in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas for job growth in green industries, according to a report from the Brookings Institute. With 17,913 green jobs, Nashville placed 28th for number of positions. Green jobs, ranging from transportation to organic farming, offer people with a modest education an opportunity to earn a median income of $37,705, almost $3,000 higher than the median for all jobs. TAP is involved in a number of initiatives to foster this sustainable economy in Tennessee.
Municipal Weatherization Programs
TAP is working to develop models for municipal weatherization programs in Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis. Municipal weatherization programs help residents conserve energy while creating family supporting jobs. A strong program will include low-cost financing, incentives as well as High Road workforce agreements which insure both that jobs are well-paying and that a percentage of the work goes to members of distressed neighborhoods.
In Nashville our partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Environment and Sustainability’s Nashville Energy Works (NEW) program is built around the notion that if enough people weatherize their homes, a number of new green jobs can be created. If a significant portion of Nashville’s 143,000 homeowners weatherize their homes, the results would be lower utility bills, more comfortable, energy-efficient homes and a significant decline in Nashville’s carbon emissions, 40% of which come from buildings.
TAP is also encouraging the Mayor’s Office to bring together the key stakeholders in the NEW program to create a High Road Agreement that will designate that 20%-30% of NEW jobs go to people in our most distressed communities, that more minority and women contractors be hired and that quality work be performed. TAP's Green is Alive in District 5 Project is a demonstration project in a low- to moderate-income, majority black neighborhood. Its goals are to weatherize 100 homes and 10 businesses and create green jobs in this East Nashville neighborhood.
If you would like TAP to come to your church, neighborhood or other organization to talk about the NEW program, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 888-903-9576.
In Knoxville we are working with Knoxville Energy Alliance Partnership for Green Jobs (KEAP) which is building an Energy Alliance focused on a strong municipal weatherization and renewable energy program that is focused on the low income empowerment zone of Knoxville. A similar approach is being explored in Memphis.
Green Jobs Legislation
TAP sponsored green jobs and sustainable legislation in the in 2009 and 2010 legislative sessions. We also co-sponsored well-attended Green Jobs Days on the Hill for the past three years.
Women and Green Jobs
TAP has established a Women in Green Jobs Project to provide women eco-preneurs who want to start their own green businesses with the tools and resources they need to succeed. This Project will help women become more self-sufficient, increase the number of green jobs for women, and help the planet. For more information see the Focus Group Report link on the home page.
TVA Energy Efficiency Campaign
TAP is a part of a campaign led through the Solar Valley Coalition and the Tennessee Sierra Club which is advocating that the Tennessee Valley Authority achieve a 1% annual energy efficiency goal. Meeting this goal would eliminate the need for TVA to build more power plants in the near future. It would also create considerable demand for jobs in the energy efficiency industry. TAP was instrumental helping pass a resolution by the Nashville City Council urging TVA to establish this 1% goal.
Green Jobs Youth Corps
TAP is one of the members of a committee convened by the Nashville Mayor's Office of Sustainabliity in partnership with the Harvard Kennedy Business School to develop a model program for at-risk youth and green jobs. In 2009 the Green-Collar Jobs Task Force of Nashville/Davidson County prepared a resolution that passed through City Council urging the development of such programs.