Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Layoff Blues Tempered by Green Jobs

by Phil Marshall
Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 9:45 AM

It’s been a roller-coaster month for Oakland. On Tuesday, Feb. 16, the city council approved layoffs to multiple city departments from the police to information technology. However, the decisions came amidst other announcements this month that Oakland will receive more federal funding for green projects.

On Monday it was announced that Oakland-based BrightSource Energy will receive a $1.37 billion loan guarantee pending approval from the state Energy Commission and the US Bureau of Land Management.

A few weeks ago, the CoCoTimes reported that solar energy company Sungevity signed a deal to move its headquarters and 54 employees from Berkeley to Oakland's Jack London Square. The business is expected to hire "dozens more” employees.

Last week, Mayor Ron Dellums announced that Oakland is a partner in five federal stimulus grants expected to be awarded by the California Energy Commission. They are worth more than $40 million total and will provide more than 4,000 jobs, according to the Oakland Tribune. However, the funding comes with the condition that it be put toward the creation of new jobs rather than saving old ones.

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