John Hickey

Missouri Sierra Club, Steelworkers Union Hold Western Missouri Clean Energy Jobs Tour in Kansas City

On Wednesday, November 2nd, fifty Sierra Club members took part in the Western Missouri Clean Energy Jobs Tour to view a business in northeast Kansas City that supplies parts for wind turbines, solar generators, and electric car plug-ins. The plant, Milbank Manufacturing, expects to hire 57 new employees to support its expanded clean energy products. Workers at Milbank are represented by the United Steelworkers Union (USW) Local 13.

“Milbank Manufacturing proves the potential for renewable energy to create jobs in Missouri,” explains John Hickey, Sierra Club Chapter Director. “It is time for the State of Missouri to expand our use of renewable energy. We know that renewable energy means cleaner air and healthier communities. Now we are showing that it also means good-paying, clean energy jobs.”

Emil Ramirez, Assistant to the Director for USW District 11 continues “Our members understand that investing in clean energy technology means more good jobs right here in Kansas City. That is why the USW, along with other groups including the Sierra Club, are part of the BlueGreen Alliance. This tour provided a chance for more local citizens to see this potential with their own eyes.”

Missouri voters passed Proposition C in November 2008, requiring utilities to generate 15% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2021. Unfortunately, the General Assembly stripped the requirement that the renewable energy be delivered to Missouri, undercutting the job creating potential of Proposition C.

On Wednesday, Sierra Club members and supporters toured this plant to get an in-person view of how renewable energy creates jobs here in our state. Steelworkers Local 13 President Janet Kirk, as well as local union officers Sparky Eads and Ben Geveshausen, participated.