Jobs that Build a Better Future
Clean energy investments will create millions of manufacturing jobs and whole new industries
Steelworker | Hollsapple, Pa.
Troy Galloway lost his job at a western Pennsylvania steel mill in 2000. He got a real estate license, then started a construction company, but no matter what he tried, he had trouble bringing home a steady income.
Hear Troy talk about his clean energy job
"Green collar" workers at a Gamesa plant in Pennsylvania work to smooth out windmill blades that will produce clean, renewable energy. Courtesy: Gamesa
"It was bad. We were scrimping," he recalls. His wife lost her job, too, when a lingerie manufacturer closed its Johnstown factory. They had three children at home to support. "My wife said we had to do something."
In the spring of 2006, a Spanish wind turbine maker called Gamesa opened a plant in Ebensburg, about a half-hour drive from Galloway's home in Hollsapple, Pa. "It was a big thing," Galloway says. "The governor was wooing them. It was all over the papers. Everybody knew they were coming."
He landed a job in the finishing department, smoothing the edges of mammoth windmill blades. It was an awful lot like his first job in the steel mills. "All my skills transferred," he says.
Galloway, a member of UWS Local 2635-24, never imagined himself in a green job, even though he's been recycling for as long as he can remember. Every couple of weeks, he drives to a drop-off center with cans, bottles, newspapers and other household refuse. "I'm not a tree hugger," Galloway says, "but I do believe in Mother Earth."
Now, he's doing Mother Earth another favor, building windmills that produce renewable power -- and earning a steady paycheck for it.
"It's a feel-good job," Galloway says. "Not only is it good money and good working conditions, but you feel good because of what you're doing. You're doing something good for the environment, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and doing something good for our children."
last revised 6/11/2009
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