The Case for Clean Energy Jobs in Central Texas
Clean energy jobs are abundant in Texas – earning it the #2 rank in total sector employment across the country. According to E2.org, there were 241,289 clean energy jobs in the state in 2019, with nearly 1,400 of those jobs in Bell County. As the largest employer across all energy-related occupations and one of the U.S. economy’s fastest-growing sectors in 2019, clean energy has a proven role to play in a thriving 21st century economy.
Killeen and Fort Hood’s record is evidence that where freedom grows, so does opportunity. Clean energy is just the latest case. As host to the Fort Hood-Apex Clean Energy Phantom Solar Project, the Army’s largest renewable energy project, Fort Hood’s embrace of clean energy ensures our national security interests while saving U.S. taxpayers $168 million in energy costs over its lifespan. This project is emblematic of the clean energy industry’s wider success in providing tax revenue payouts and skilled career opportunities nationwide. As market demand for clean energy increases, so too will the demand for jobs to support this industry.
As Bell County’s own clean energy workforce combats a nearly 10% downturn from the pandemic, Killeen cannot lose sight of the opportunities clean energy holds both at Fort Hood and beyond. Recouping these lost jobs is essential to economic recovery in the region. Our leaders need to prioritize the reinstatement of our clean energy workers who have lost their jobs and develop a strategic plan to return the sector’s growth.
Job creation will be our key out of an employment downturn and few industries can produce as many high-paying, long-lasting jobs as the clean energy sector. These 21st century jobs are the wave of the future. They will provide well-paying jobs for workers while providing the infrastructure to make Smart Cities technology possible. The Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce supports the creation of these jobs and the development of educational opportunities to make them accessible to the workforce.