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  • Writer's pictureTiana Starks

Michigan adds 4,800 clean energy jobs in 2018; 9% growth projected

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

Michigan leads the Midwest in clean energy sector jobs, adding 4,800 jobs in 2018 — a 4 percent jump from the previous year — for a total of 126,081, with experts projecting 9 percent growth in 2019, according to a new report.

Ramped-up electric vehicle production by automakers in metro Detroit fueled a 16 percent increase in clean energy transportation work, per the report, produced by Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust and Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).

The rise of wind and solar energy in Michigan is also driving clean energy job growth, with more workers manufacturing and installing wind turbines and solar-power panels. Solar and wind energy employs 10,202 in the state.

About 78.5 percent of clean energy businesses employ fewer than 20 people, according to the report, which suggests small businesses are playing a key role in the sector.

“This report indicates that the Midwest is creating jobs in the clean energy industry more quickly than the rest of the country — a sign the Midwest is a good place for clean energy businesses to grow,” Erik Birkerts, CEO of Clean Energy Trust, said in a news release.

Michigan has the most clean energy jobs in the Midwest, topping Illinois by nearly 3,000, and it is ranked fifth in the nation for number of clean energy jobs.

Among the largest clean energy employers are General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Whirlpool Corp. and Sunrise Windows Ltd. Job titles include engineer, press operator, electrician, building energy analyst, automated controls technician, HVAC facilities manager and construction project manager.

Clean energy jobs make up 2.7 percent of all jobs in Michigan, and most are concentrated in metro Detroit, the report said. Oakland County leads with 30,756 clean energy jobs, while Wayne County had 20,300 and Macomb counted 12,862. About 25,200 new jobs are in rural areas.

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