Unemployment is lingering up at about 12.5 percent percent in California. In some communities of Southern California, the jobless rate is much higher. Elected officials have said the green tech sector is the place to till for new job growth. A green tech conference gets underway Monday in Los Angeles that deals in part with jobs.
The conference brings together leaders of green tech companies from around the world along with local, state and national environmental officials.
They will talk solar, wind, water… and jobs. David Abel organized the conference called the VerdeExchange. He says we are in an international competition right now to win new jobs and land the new industry.
"Whether the EV electric car industries, batteries or energy efficieincy," Abel says, the industries are looking at "where the best markets and employment opportunities are." He says local and state officials are looking at how to "attract the investment to be in southern california so we can employ the workforce that is so talented and needing of those jobs."
One example is the Chinese Company B-Y-D. It is coming out with a new electric car. It is a full-sized family car. It is supposed to go 200 miles on one charge.
"I think their initial plan is to price it at $30,000 or less," Abel says.
The company wants to roll out the new cars by the end of this year.
"That may be a bit ambitious," Abel says. "It certainly is challenging Detroit. But that is their game plan. And they certainly have the capacity to do it."
The question is whether they would park their US headquarters in Southern California.
"That’s a goal of the Economic Development Corp of Los Angeles and I’m sure they are courting them furiously because the company is thinking about making the decision this year of where in the United States to base their operations. "
One of the leaders of the company will be in Los Angeles for the conference. BYD is already the biggest maker of re-chargeable batteries. Warren Buffet is a major investor in the company.
More information on the green tech conference is at VerdExchange.org.