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Steve Chiotakis: The city of Cleveland is the latest to try and organize itself as a center for green jobs. The mayor there is convening a three-day sustainability summit starting today. And he’s bringing in everyone from blue collar workers to Fortune 500 CEOs. From station WCPN, Dan Bobkoff reports.
DAN BOBKOFF: Organizers are calling this “Sustainable Cleveland 2019,” but don’t you dare call it a conference. Apparently, conferences are synonymous with inaction. This, they say, is a summit that will produce a real plan to create both jobs and clean energy.
David Cooperrider of Case Western Reserve University is one of the summit’s organizers.
DAVID COOPERRIDER: The question isn’t whether cities will do this. The question is which ones are doing it first and who will do it best?
Other Rust Belt cities like Toledo and Pittsburgh are racing to convert into green business centers. In Cleveland, there’s already the infrastructure to make things like bolts for wind turbines, but some say Northeast Ohio could use more planning and innovation. Tom Bullock works in Ohio for the Pew Environmental Group.
TOM BULLOCK: We need our companies to tech up, our workers to skill up. We need to become experts in taking research to prototype and prototype to blueprint and out into the marketplace.
President Obama has been touting alternative energy as an economic engine. The president is sending Van Jones, his green jobs adviser, to kick off this week’s summit.
In Cleveland, I’m Dan Bobkoff for Marketplace.
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