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Report: Allegheny County tops state for clean energy jobs

Wesley Venteicher
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A.W. Beattie Career Center HVAC instructor Scott Miller (left) helps senior Jesse Mueller, 18 use a digital combustion analyzer on Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, to test a high-efficiency oil furnace in the school in McCandless. James Knox | Tribune-Review

Allegheny County has the highest number of clean-energy jobs in the state, according to an analysis from Environmental Entrepreneurs.

The clean-energy advocacy group found Allegheny County had 11,950 jobs in the wind, solar, energy efficiency and clean vehicle industries. That number is up from 8,100 jobs in the industries a year ago, according to the group.

The majority of the growth is due to construction and the energy-efficiency jobs associated with it, including HVAC workers, according to the group’s spokesman, Michael Timberlake.

“The county also has a lot of old building stock, so there is a great concentration of opportunity, and we have some manufacturing as well,” Timberlake said in an email. “The green building movement is strong in the county (it used to have the largest number of LEED-certified buildings) so many of these jobs are also construction-related in the green building sector.”

Across the state, jobs in wind and solar energy grew over the past year while jobs in hybrid and electric vehicles were down — a result of those industries moving overseas. A total of about 86,000 people work in the industries across the state, up about 2 percent from last year, according to the report, which is based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Allegheny and Philadelphia counties — Pennsylvania’s two largest by population — had the most jobs in the industries, but the report said the industries employ people in each of the state’s 67 counties.

Timberlake said the count included jobs in “non-woody biomass, low-impact hydro power, geothermal, clean vehicles, energy storage, grid modernization, and advanced biofuels. These include jobs involved in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, transmission and distribution, and professional services.”

The count didn’t include jobs in retail trade, repair services, water or waste management, and indirect employment or induced employment, he said

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676, [email protected] or via Twitter @wesventeicher.

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