New Minnesota Energy Program: a Model for Equitable Job Creation

By Terry Keleher Jun 24, 2009

photo credit: Apollo Alliance A new energy programs law recently enacted in Minnesota offers a model worth noting for those interested in incorporating equity and sustainability into public policy. The new legislation invests public funds to prepare low-income Minnesotans for jobs related to weatherization and energy efficiency and ensures equitable opportunities for women-owned businesses and businesses of color. Jermaine Toney, policy analyst for the Organizing Apprenticeship Project, in a recently-published op-ed writes: “…legislation like the energy programs bill, which specifically addresses disparities and advances racial and economic equity, should be held up as a model of reform to build upon at the state Legislature.” He adds, “The lesson here is that policies make sense to our communities when those most affected by the investment decision shape the vision. It also makes sense for the state. We have seen that when lawmakers pay attention to equity impacts of public investment on people of color and low-income people, we all benefit.” Read the full op-ed by clicking here.