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U.S. Labor Secretary Touts Green Jobs In Silicon Valley

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U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis steps off of a new Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority hybrid bus after touring the agency's hybrid technology training program on July 21, 2011 in San Jose. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis steps off of a new Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority hybrid bus after touring the agency’s hybrid technology training program on July 21, 2011 in San Jose. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

MikeColgan20100909_KCBS_0410r Mike Colgan
Mike Colgan, who has worked in Bay Area radio for more than 40 year...
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SAN JOSE (KCBS) – U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said Wednesday that Silicon Valley is a good example of how a clean energy revolution is helping put Americans back to work.

Solis spoke at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority bus yard after touring a facility where VTA operators were being trained to drive 90 hybrid buses. The vehicles were obtained under a $53 million federal stimulus grant.

Solis said the key to lowering the unemployment rate is retraining workers for green tech jobs.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

“The projections that I see are that the green technological sector is the one that’s going to keep growing here,” said Solis. “So there isn’t an absence of people that can’t come in and fill these jobs, it’s just that we need to retrain people. That’s what we’re hearing today, that there are all these people from different walks of life that can be retrained in the workforce.”

Peter Yates is one of those people. He was laid off from his banking industry job, and is now a VTA hybrid bus driver.

“I had the corner office in the sky, and now people call me and they say, ‘really, you’re an operator?’ But I say those days are gone for me,” said Yates.

Solis said that median wages in the clean tech sector are 13 percent higher than non-green jobs.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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