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Happy weekend, all.
Data collected from WorkingNation, a nonprofit organization focused on the economy, and Emsi Burning Glass, an analytics software company, found that Pennsylvania’s working future could be greener than expected.
With the Biden administration’s $1.2 trillion investment in infrastructure across the country set to come down the metaphorical pipeline, Pennsylvania is set to see a 6.4 percent increase in green jobs, according to the WorkingNation’s Green Jobs Now: Pennsylvania, report, well ahead of the national average of 5.7 percent.
WorkingNation defines “green jobs” in four ways:
Core Green – “These are jobs with a primary responsibility associated with the green economy (e.g. Solar Engineers, Hydroelectric Engineers, Energy Efficiency Specialists, etc.).”
Green Enabled – “These are jobs with primary responsibilities separate or tangential to the green economy, but increasingly require green skills (e.g. HVAC installers working with new, energy efficient cooling systems, the mechanical or industrial engineers building those systems, etc.).”
Green Enabling – “These are jobs that aren’t associated with green tech per se, but they support the green economy by working at firms associated with green tech or innovations (e.g. the marketing manager at a solar panel manufacturer).”
Potential Green Jobs – “These are jobs that may not yet require green skills but could benefit from green skills in the near future. These could be maintenance techs, engineers, or other jobs that are likely to become increasingly green in the coming years and practitioners will benefit from learning these skills today.”
In 2021, Pennsylvania recorded 29,883 green jobs, and openings for 7,000 more, the report found.
Demand for green enabled jobs in – jobs that are not considered green by default but require green skills – is “significant” in Pennsylvania. The report found that there were 4,544 green enabled job openings in the commonwealth in 2021.
The 14-page report includes findings on green job salaries, demand by industry sector, and green skill sets, for those interested in reading more.
As always, the top five stories from this week are below.
A Pennsylvania appeals court has struck down the commonwealth’s landmark 2019 mail-in voting law, though the near certainty of an appeal means voters might not notice a difference until the Supreme Court weighs in.
In a 49-page opinion issued by Judge Mary Leavitt on Friday morning, the court found that the law, which allows all Pennsylvanians to vote by mail without an excuse, was unconstitutionally enacted as a statute, rather than being approved through the state’s long and rigorous constitutional amendment process.
“If presented to the people, a constitutional amendment to end the…requirement of in-person voting is likely to be adopted,” Leavitt wrote. “But a constitutional amendment must be presented to the people and adopted into our fundamental law before legislation authorizing no-excuse mail-in voting can ‘be placed upon our statute books.’”
Even with an open governor’s mansion and control of the U.S. Senate potentially running through the commonwealth, Pennsylvania’s once powerful political parties are poised to play little role in picking their candidates for November.
Parties were once able to make or break political runs, providing such key resources as access to campaign donors and getting the candidates’ names on sample ballots, political observers, operatives, and candidates noted.
But now, in an age of social media and online fundraising, as well as anti-establishment feelings across the political spectrum, the official nod from either the Democratic or Republican Party is less valuable.
“There’s no point stepping in and being brutal and trying to push people out,” longtime Pennsylvania political watcher Terry Madonna told the Capital-Star. “There’s so many candidates representing too many factions. I think they’ll just let it play out.”
The 84 people who signed bogus documents claiming that Donald Trump won the 2020 election include dozens of local Republican Party leaders, seven current candidates for public office, eight current office holders and at least five previous state and federal office holders.
Groups from Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin all allegedly sent lists of so-called alternate electors to the National Archives after the 2020 election. The slate of fake electors includes Lou Barletta and Charlie Gerow, both candidates for governor in Pennsylvania; Burt Jones, a candidate for lieutenant governor in Georgia; James Lamon, a candidate for U.S. Senate from Arizona; and candidates for state legislative seats.
Pennsylvania’s 2022 race for the governor’s office already is sucking in millions of dollars of campaign funding from across the state and country.
An initial Capital-Star review of campaign finance reports available as of midday Tuesday shows that candidates in both parties has raised at least $25.3 million for the coming campaign — a total that will only increase in the coming months as war chests grow and outside groups step in.
“Those are big time numbers early in a cycle as we come into prime fundraising territory, and a signal of just how expensive this race will end up being,” Chris Borick, a political scientist and pollster at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, told the Capital-Star. “The records are going to fall.”
Nina Esposito-Visgitis, president of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers and wife of a teacher, has always been proud to be an educator. But she is not sure her son Luke should go into the “family business.”
“As much as it breaks my heart to admit this, I have to be honest — I don’t know if I want him to do it,” she told lawmakers Tuesday during a Senate Democratic Policy Committee hearing on school staff shortages. “Not unless our teachers are finally provided with the support they need to do the job properly.”
And in just seven minutes of testimony, Esposito-Visgitis outlined the challenges facing educators, warning of possible early retirements and less interest in the profession resulting from limited resources and burnout.
And that’s the week. We’ll see you back here next week.
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