Congressman Welch Leads Home Star Job Creation Initiative

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Congressman Peter Welch hosted an event today in Williston, VT at the home of some Vermonters investing in energy-efficiency in their own home–and expecting to save 30% doing so.  The Congressman spoke about the pending Home Star legislation, and local contactors, builders, retailers, energy experts, and home owners joined in supporting the proposal.

Remarks by Mike Rogers, Senior Vice President, GreenHomes America

Williston, VT — March 15, 2009 — My name is Mike Rogers. I’m the Senior Vice President at GreenHomes America.  And today we’re here to talk about jobs.

First, let me say what a privilege it is to be here with Congressman Welch.  I’m thoroughly impressed with the Congressman’s work on this issue.  He has shown time and time again the ability to reach out across the aisle and across different segments of his own party to hammer out good, common sense solutions.  I’ve had the opportunity over the last few months to work with a broad group representing contractors, manufacturers, labor, environmentalists, and energy experts from across the political spectrum to provide real-world input into the Home Star concept.  And I’m here to tell you that because of the way Peter focuses on the common sense and practical approach, Home Star has good bi-partisan support.  We in Vermont are lucky to have such leadership.

But let’s get back to jobs, jobs, jobs, because that’s what Home Star is about.

Home Star would help create jobs in the construction industry, perhaps the hardest hit sector of our economy, and a sector in which recovery is lagging even as we show signs of emerging from the recession.  Nationally, more than 25%, that’s 1 in 4, construction jobs have been lost over the past couple of years.  In Vermont, that’s almost 6,000 jobs.  6,000 people out of work.  Home Star would help turn that around.

Home Star means jobs for contractors, the insulators, window installers, heating guys and plumbers.  People in our own communities that we can get back to work, in jobs that can never be exported.

Home Star also means jobs at our local lumber yards and supply houses where we get the materials to make homes more energy-efficient.

Home Star means manufacturing jobs.  And well over 90% of the products and materials used in these home improvement projects are made right here in the U.S.

I can’t speak for the industry, but at my company, these are good paying, year-round jobs, with full benefits, vacation and holiday pay, health insurance, 401(k)s, and more.

The jobs created get people back to work, off unemployment, and get money flowing through our communities.

Home Star does this not by providing a hand-out, but by encouraging private sector investment.  That’s homeowners investing in their own homes.  And private sector businesses investing in their own companies to stand up an industry that will thrive for decades to come. 

That is good economics.  Good home economics.  Good Vermont economics.  And good economic policy for our country.  As Peter would say, it’s good common sense.

Home Star is the right policy for right now.  It’s a bipartisan policy.  I’d like to thank Congressman Welch for his leadership and his willingness to look at this not from a Democrat or Republican perspective, but from the perspective of what’s best for our state and our country.

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