Shortly after President Obama highlighted climate action in his 2016 State of the Union address, Administrator McCarthy hopped on a plane to the Buckeye State to learn how universities, colleges and businesses in the state are driving clean energy innovation. Our country’s total wind energy has tripled since the President took office, and solar energy has increased thirty-fold. Every part of the nation can see economic benefits from deepening involvement in the clean energy economy.
The Administrator spent the morning with students who are preparing for jobs in the sector. In the afternoon she toured a university center working to develop clean technologies, and stopped by our country’s largest solar panel manufacturer.
Owens Community College in Perrysburg, Ohio, offers a degree in alternative energy and sustainable systems that helps students prepare for green energy jobs. It was Administrator McCarthy's first stop. (1 of 11)The Administrator met with faculty and students at Owens Community College, and got a tour of their classrooms and the tools they use to learn the trade. (2 of 11)Administrator McCarthy loves meeting students like these. She knows they are the future of our clean energy economy. (3 of 11)Next stop: The University of Toledo, which hosts a clean energy research and development incubator that is working to develop the next wave of technologies. (4 of 11)At the University of Toledo, the Administrator got to learn firsthand how solar panels are made. (5 of 11)The university has created a simulated assembly line to teach students about the solar panel manufacturing process that is used by solar manufacturers in the Toledo area. Administrator McCarthy got an up-close look. (6 of 11)University researchers also showed the Administrator how to test a solar cell to determine how much energy it is outputting. (7 of 11)
Last stop: The U.S. manufacturing operations of First Solar, our nation's biggest solar panel maker. The Perrysburg plant provides more than 1,000 jobs for people in the area. (8 of 11)
Administrator McCarthy got a tour of the solar panel manufacturing line and watched it in action. (9 of 11)This solar panel has just had its wiring installed. Next it will be tested to gauge its output. (10 of 11)Then the solar panels are prepared for shipping. Each panel provides clean energy, helps us reduce harmful carbon pollution, and helps keep folks in Ohio in good paying jobs where their skills are in demand. As Administrator McCarthy said, climate change is a challenge, but it's one we can turn into great economic opportunities. (11 of 11)
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