Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Field Notes from ACORE's RETECH

This dispatch just in from Retired Army O-6 and Sabot 6 CEO Dan Nolan:

I just returned from the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) sponsored Renewable Energy Technology Conference and Exhibition (RETECH) in Las Vegas (SINCITY).  ACORE is an organization of member companies and institutions dedicated to moving renewable energy into the mainstream of America’s economy, ensuring the success of the renewable energy industry while helping to build a sustainable and independent energy future for the nation.  RETECH 2009 built on the outcomes of WIREC 2008, highlighting the top companies and thought leaders in the renewable energy industry. It was a superb conference with excellent speakers and a dazzling array of hardware and services. The atmosphere was downright bubbly with anticipation of the new Administration's focus on Energy. Over two hundred Government and Industry leaders shared their insights, strategies, and new products in the RETECH Business Conference and Trade Show, which spanned all renewable technologies and all aspects of the field.

In one session in particular the challenges for DOD were laid out by presenters such as GEN (R) Wes Clark and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Jim Woolsey.  As interesting as their presentation was, the final speaker on that panel really grabbed my attention. He was not on the agenda and had apparently been added to replace an absent speaker. He talked about harnessing one of the great untapped energy sources in this Nation for the express purpose of strengthening our security, our economy and the values of hard work, determination and honor. That energy is renewable, proven and inexhaustible.  It is the energy provided by our military veterans and it is being tapped by Veterans Green Jobs.  

After the presentation, I sat down with the Executive Director, Brett KenCairns to discuss the program. As their website describes it: 

Veterans Green Jobs provides exemplary green jobs education and career development opportunities for military veterans, empowering and supporting them to lead America’s transition to energy independence, ecological restoration, community renewal, and economic prosperity.

The intent is to provide training and education to veterans and bring them into the Green workforce. The concept is new and the first graduates of the Veterans Green Jobs Academy will graduate and deploy in June of this year.  I encourage all employers to visit the website and tap into this resource. If you want a workforce that emulates the values that have made our military one of the most esteemed institutions in the world, Veterans Green Jobs can help you achieve that goal. This program focuses on getting the best that America offers into the industry that has the potential to return us to the economic prominence we once enjoyed and can again. 

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