Aug. 24, 2022
Natalie Bauer Luce
Inflation Reduction Act, Climate & Equitable Jobs Act Set Illinois as National Leader in Cutting Emissions, Expanding Jobs for Underserved Communities
CHICAGO — Labor coalition Climate Jobs Illinois today welcomed U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh to Illinois to learn more about the impact of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act on the state’s robust clean energy workforce development initiatives that were enacted in the landmark Climate & Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) last year.
Signed by Gov. Pritzker in September 2021, CEJA established Illinois as a leader in transitioning to a clean energy economy by 2050 and included the strongest labor standards in the country, including prevailing wages and project labor agreements for utility-scale wind and solar energy developments. The law also expanded apprenticeship and training programs for Black and Latino communities to offer training and job-readiness skills to land good-paying union jobs in clean energy development.
Provisions in President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act will supercharge Illinois’ efforts to reach CEJA’s 2050 goal, helping to create millions of union jobs in construction and manufacturing through clean energy tax credits renewable energy technology, including solar, wind, hydrogen and storage. Developers who receive these tax credits must pay workers a prevailing wage and offer expanded apprenticeship opportunities.
“Illinois leads the nation in moving to a clean energy economy built by union labor,” said Joe Duffy, executive director of Climate Jobs Illinois. “What we’ve proven with CEJA and what union-card carrying Secretary Walsh knows is that we don’t have to choose between good-paying jobs and a cleaner, fairer future. We can do both. With CEJA and IRA, Illinois is well on its way to reaching its zero emissions goals and expanding career opportunities for historically underinvested communities.”
About Climate Jobs Illinois
Climate Jobs Illinois represents the hundreds of thousands of Illinois working men and women who are best equipped to build Illinois’ new clean-energy economy from the ground up. Executive Committee members of Climate Jobs Illinois are: Illinois AFL-CIO, Chicago Federation of Labor, Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council, Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council, International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators, Illinois Education Association, Illinois Federation of Teachers, International Association of Bridge Structural Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers State Council, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, Laborers International Union of North America Great Lakes Region, Laborers International Union of North America Midwest Region and the Service Employees International Union State Council.
Climate Jobs Illinois is a state affiliate of the Climate Jobs National Resource Center. CJI has partnered with The Project for Middle Class Renewal at UIUC, Illinois Economic Policy Institute and Cornell University Worker Institute.
To learn more, visit https://climatejobsillinois.org, and follow CJI at @ClimateJobsIL on Twitter or join its Facebook page.