The recent announcement Carrier, the HVAC company, would keep 800 jobs, some number of them advanced energy jobs, in Indiana made national headlines. But the focus on Carrier missed the far larger number of advanced energy jobs in Indiana that aren’t going anywhere. Advanced energy companies have put nearly 48,000 Hoosiers to work, and that number is growing. Advanced energy jobs represent about 2% of Indiana jobs overall – more than machinery manufacturing and nearly twice as many as colleges and universities. And it’s not just numbers. It’s people like Jennifer Atteberry, Ryan Logan, Steve Schamber, and Alan West, who are making careers in Indiana-based advanced energy companies and helping the Indiana economy grow.
We recently released “Advanced Energy Jobs in Indiana,” with data provided by BW Research Partnership, from the BW Energy Employment Index, which was the basis for the Department of Energy’s U.S. Energy and Employment Report, released earlier this year.
The numbers tell us that Indiana’s advanced energy industry is primed for growth. Indiana possesses a wealth of untapped energy resources, including potential energy efficiency, wind, biofuels, and biomass. Greater development of these resources can help Indiana improve its electric power and transportation systems as well as employ even more Indianans in good jobs that can’t be outsourced.
One out of every 50 workers in Indiana is employed in the advanced energy industry, and employers expect to add over 900 new jobs by the end of 2016 – an increase of 2%. Most advanced energy jobs – 77% of them – are in energy efficiency, followed by transportation, solar, wind, biomass, and advanced natural gas.
The report includes profiles of Hoosiers working in advanced energy. Jennifer Atteberry has worked for CLEAResult for two years, servicing clients like Indianapolis Power & Light Co. (IPL).
“I like working for a company at the forefront of energy efficiency that is growing exponentially, yet doesn’t feel huge or impersonal,” she said. “It’s the best of both worlds.”
Ryan Logan, facility manager of the Amazon Wind Farm Fowler Ridge in Benton County, oversees nine full-time employees and all operations for the 150 MW facility. “I really like knowing that what I am doing will benefit our future generations, especially my kids.”
Alan West is a site manager at Meadow Lake Wind Farm near Chalmers. He’s been working with Vestas for six years, beginning as a service technician working to keep the turbines spinning. “I love working for Vestas and the wind industry because of our exciting future,” he said. “I’m proud to be a part of a company that is extremely safety oriented and puts a high priority on my future as an employee, and on the future of renewable energy.”
“I’m excited to be a part of developing the next generation of products and solutions that help utilities and their customers manage energy better,” said Steven Schamber, vice president of North America meter development for Landis+Gyr, a company that has had roots in Indiana going back to 1901.
The report also marks the debut of Indiana AEE, which represents corporate members of AEE who see significant opportunity for jobs and business growth across the state. The effort is being led by Greg Ballard, former Republican mayor of Indianapolis, and Graham Richard, former Democratic mayor of Fort Wayne.
In a recent letter to the editor of the Terre Haute Tribune-Star, Ballard wrote:
In Indiana and across the country, we are in the midst of an energy transformation, even if people don’t know it yet. Lower prices for natural gas, wind, solar, and energy storage are creating more secure, clean, and affordable energy options – and jobs. Large corporations, including many in Indiana, are demanding renewable energy and energy efficiency choices as they choose places to expand and relocate their operations. If we want them here, we need to pay attention.
Jennifer Atteberry, Ryan Logan, Steve Schamber, and Alan West know that Indiana is in the midst of an energy transformation. They see it every day when they go to work. The advanced energy economy has taken root in the Hoosier State, and we can’t wait to see it grow.