Report Shows Job Growth in Ohio’s Clean Energy Sector

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Ohio’s clean energy and clean transportation jobs grew by more than 4% last year, according to a new report issued by Environmental Entrepreneurs and Evergreen Climate Innovations.

Exemplifying this growth is the transition underway in the Voltage Valley – a moniker attached to the Mahoning Valley because of accelerated activity in the electrical vehicle space, said Rick Stockburger, president and CEO of Brite Energy Innovators in Warren.

As an example, he cited growth at Ultium Cells LLC – a joint venture between General Motors Co. and Korea-based LG Energy Solution – which last year employed approximately 1,100 people at its plant in Lordstown. 

“They just announced they’re going to up production to 1,700 jobs,” he said. “Right in the Voltage Valley. Foxconn is also employing 400 employees producing electric vehicles right in the Mahoning Valley.”

Stockburger joined five other panelists, including U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, during a virtual press conference to discuss the Clean Jobs Midwest Report.

Brite, a clean energy incubator, said its portfolio startup companies have created more than 3,000 jobs throughout Ohio.

He cited other developments across the state, such as Joby Aviation’s announcement Monday that it would manufacture electric air taxis near Dayton, potentially creating 2,000 new jobs.

Stockburger noted that recent legislation that includes “Made in America” provisions have helped ignite attention from foreign clean energy companies that are inquiring about setting up shop in the Midwest.

“I’m fielding calls from all across the world,” he said. “I’ve spoken to South Korea; I’ve spoken to Germany recently. The thing they keep asking me is, ‘How do we build a plant in the Midwest?’”

The Clean Jobs Midwest report found that job growth in the clean energy sector grew 4.6% across Ohio in 2022. The state’s clean energy sector employs 114,395, the report shows.

Energy efficiency is the largest subsector employer, accounting for 67% of the industry’s workforce, or 76,475 workers.

The fastest-growing subsector is clean transportation, which witnessed a 13% increase in employment last year. The sector added more than 2,500 jobs in 2022 for a total of 22,431 workers.

Other clean energy jobs are found in disciplines such as renewable energy, 10,978 positions; grid and storage, 3,181 jobs; and clean fuels, which accounts for 1,329 jobs.

Across all energy sectors, most of the jobs were found in construction and manufacturing, the report shows.

In the Midwest, clean energy jobs grew by 3.6%, according to the report. The region’s sector added more than 25,000 jobs and employed a total of 734,753 in 2022. Job growth in the clean transportation sector stood at 11.2% last year.

While most of the jobs are concentrated in major metropolitan areas such as Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis, 1 in 5 clean energy jobs are found in rural areas, the report shows.

“It confirms something I’ve been working hard to support here in Washington, D.C.,” Duckworth said. “The expansion of clean energy and the programs that support it are at the heart of job growth in Illinois and throughout the Midwest.”

Pictured at top: Rick Stockburger, president and CEO of Brite Energy Innovators, speaks during Tuesday’s virtual press conference.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.