The following is a guest post by Ezra Drissman of Eco20/20
No U.S. state has been hit harder by the end of the manufacturing revolution than Michigan. Currently the state has the highest unemployment numbers in the nation, at around 15%. The once vibrant city of Detroit has unemployment numbers near 50%.
The bad news goes on for this great state. The car industry is in the tank and many of the manufacturers surrounding the auto companies are in great distress. If that wasn't enough, an invasive Asian carp is threatening to destroy a 15 billion dollar fish industry. Many in the state wonder if it can survive. This author firmly believes that not only will it survive; it will lead the country into a new Green Industrial Revolution.
Michigan is no stranger to an industrial revolution. After all, they helped pioneer the first. Now the state has the opportunity to start a second, and make it even better. Green has been affecting business for quite some time now. Industry has been finding ways to save money by conserving energy, streamlining supply chains, and greening its general practices.
As the greening of business continues, one industry that is currently not doing so well is slowly planting its seeds of tomorrow. The auto industry will be the one to truly drive the green industrial revolution. Here is why:
Currently, the state of Michigan has an enormous amount of engineers who are looking for jobs. Taking a look at the 2010 International Auto Show, and we see that electric cars are continuing to take the lead in automobile development. It is not necessarily the big car companies that will start the revolution. Many smaller companies are being helped out by big government loans and grants. A California-based company with a branch in Michigan, Tesla is quickly becoming a leader in electric car development. The company could very well be the first to the market with an affordable long range car. Furthermore, some new faces are arriving on the green car scene, including ALTe which is set to open a huge facility in Michigan.
One does not need to look solely at the auto industry. Wind turbine manufacturing is set to start taking off in a big way. As of this year, the government is paying out billions for development and manufacturing of turbines. The turbine industry should be able to supplement the flailing manufacturing companies in the beleaguered state.
One thing should be pointed out. While many green jobs will fall into the manufacturing field, for the auto industry, many of the manufacturing jobs may not come back right away. However, the opportunity for engineers to help jump-start a new industrial revolution is possible.
The green revolution is in full swing. When looking back, 2010 may be the year that historians pinpoint. Sustainability is helping industry turn profitable again. Maybe the first affordable electric car could be called "Phoenix."
Also by Ezra Drissman of Eco20/20:
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