After being part of a successful release of Clean Jobs Midwest in March, E2’s Midwest Chapter has traveled to Washington, DC and state capitals to reinforce the message that the clean energy economy is a substantial contributor to the Midwest economy.

With over half a million employed in clean energy in the 12-state Midwest region, there are a lot of great stories to share.

For instance, take the amount of young people that clean energy employs. To highlight inspiring stories from some of the youngest workers in the industry — and to create a road map to help millennials and recent high school or college graduates chart their own course to clean energy success — E2 and NRDC launched the Clean Power Players project in April 2016. The project includes 10 video profiles from some of the brightest young people in the Midwest’s clean energy industry, and a first-of-its-kind guidebook to land a job in the clean energy field. We released the project during a panel presentation at Northwestern University with two Clean Power Players, Cory Connolly from Detroit and Emily Tjeerdsma from Chicago, and Will Kenworthy, one of E2’s Midwest chapter directors.

E2 members and other businesses have been sharing jobs numbers through their local media, as well. We had opinion pieces placed in newspapers in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Indiana.

These stories have helped push back against numerous attempts in the Midwest to repeal good energy policy. Efforts failed in Michigan this session to roll back energy efficiency standards and weaken renewable energy policy. Similarly, efforts in Ohio failed that would have extended the freeze on energy efficiency standards and renewable energy standards. In Illinois, momentum is building for an energy bill that increases energy efficiency and fixes the renewable portfolio standards in the state. Members in Iowa have proactively been involved in providing feedback as the state develops an energy plan.

The Midwest Chapter will continue to build the business case for clean energy policy this summer with many more events scheduled!

Pictured above (left to right): Will Kenworthy, E2 Midwest Chapter Director; Emily Tjeerdsma, 2 Point Perspective; Cory Connolly, Levin Energy Partners; Lauren Kubiak, NRDC; Gail Parson, E2 at a panel presentation during the launch of the Clean Power Players project.

Gail Parson is E2’s Midwest Advocate based in Chicago, Illinois.