Press Release

Report: 288,000 American Workers in 48 States are Building Technology for Cleaner Cars Today

Nick Conger, [email protected], 202-717-8237

WASHINGTON  – Building clean vehicle technology directly supports 288,000 manufacturing and engineering jobs in the United States, according to a new report released by labor and environmental leaders today. These workers are employed at more than 1,200 factories and engineering facilities in 48 states, making technology that improves fuel economy for today’s innovative vehicles—everything from more efficient transmissions and turbo-charged engines to light-weight steel and aluminum to electric power steering and regenerative braking.

The report, titled SUPPLYING INGENUITY II: U.S. Suppliers of Key Clean, Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Technologies, also finds nine states with 10,000 or more workers building clean, fuel-efficient vehicle technology. In the top five states—Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky—building cleaner vehicle technologies supports nearly 160,000 manufacturing jobs. 

“Clean vehicle and fuel economy standards are proving that we can create jobs, rebuild manufacturing and protect our environment at the same time,” said Kim Glas, executive director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “Going forward the auto sector can continue to lead the way in rebuilding good American manufacturing jobs. But, to get this job done, we need to lead on fuel economy, innovation and investment while doubling down on policies to ensure we manufacture the next generation of technology in the US and build good, safe, family supporting jobs doing so. Robust, long-term fuel economy and GHG standards have been critical to the automotive recovery, and remain critical to sustaining it.

“The automobile industry has come a long way from bankruptcy to profitability, and strong, long-term vehicle standards are a key part of that story,” said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, Chief Program Officer at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Through innovation and ingenuity, American companies and workers are achieving vital clean air and climate gains that will be felt by generations to come. The industry must continue to invest in a long-term strategy to drive down harmful greenhouse gas emissions and stay competitive globally.”

“Tens of thousands of jobs in states like Ohio are proof that finding solutions to address climate change, clean air and other environmental issues—like the commonsense clean car and fuel economy standards enacted in 2012 and being successfully implemented today—can build up America’s manufacturing sector and our economy as a whole,” said Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW).

“We’ve seen steel mills, like the ArcelorMittal plant in Cleveland, brought back online to make the high-quality, lightweight steel needed by these vehicles. We have USW workers making aluminum and other innovative materials and components needed to meet these smart, commonsense standards and we shouldn’t go backwards on them,” added Gerard.

The report highlights three priorities for sustaining a strong, job creating, clean automotive recovery that helps rebuild American manufacturing and communities. These include: continued strong standards spurring investment in leading technology, manufacturing and jobs, sound economic, tax and trade policies to build more of those manufacturing jobs in the U.S., and strong labor standards and worker rights to ensure that those jobs are consistently good jobs—and help reverse the downward pressure on living standards of working families. 

Since the 2008–2009 recession, the auto industry has recovered, adding nearly 700,000 retail and manufacturing jobs, while simultaneously meeting steadily tightening emissions and fuel economy standards and capturing the market benefits of new leadership in innovation. Since 2009, the auto sector has brought back more than 300,000 manufacturing jobs.

To view the report online, click here: https://www.nrdc.org/resources/supplying-ingenuity-ii-us-suppliers-key-clean-fuel-efficient-vehicle-technologies.

To read a blog post by Luke Tonachel, co-author of the report, click here: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/luke-tonachel/clean-car-and-fuel-economy-standards-are-good-jobs.

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

The BlueGreen Alliance unites America’s largest labor unions and its most influential environmental organizations to solve today’s environmental challenges in ways that create and maintain quality jobs and build a stronger, fairer economy. Visit http://www.bluegreenalliance.org.

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