Ohio Growing Its Economy, Adding Jobs, With Green 'Goesintas'


Wind turbine bearing manufactured at Timken Corportation, Tyger River, SC plant, from steel produced in Canton, Ohio. Image credit:Ohio.com

What is a green goesinta? Colloquially, it might be a wire or pipe that feeds 'into' something: as in bio-diesel blend 'goes into' the truck from the pump. Of course, only the biodiesel component of the blend is the 'goesinta' in this example. But it makes the vehicle and it's owner 'greener:' hence it is the first green piece in the value chain. In the professional world, 'goesinta' a catch-all term, used with a bit of humor, for a component or raw material that goes into something bigger but which by itself does not share the final product's name recognition. A ball bearing race on a wind turbine; the bedding compound that holds a solar panel on its frame; and a coating that makes the tower or rack, respectively, last longer, all are green 'goesintas.'

If it makes a final product more efficient, longer lived, less toxic, or more recyclable it's a "green goesinta.' Easy right? Well...not so easy for the mainstream media, which continues to focus exclusively only on green jobs and economic growth associated with final products: wind turbines for example. Ohio gets it, as reported by Bob Downing of the Beacon Journal.From: Industries ready to ride the wind. 170 businesses make bearings, hydraulics, sensors, fasteners, other goods needed to produce turbines

Ohio trails only California in potential for developing wind turbines and components, according to the Renewable Energy Policy Project in a 2004 report for the U.S. Department of Energy.

That report said wind could create 11,688 jobs and add $3.9 billion in capital investments to Ohio's economy.

Ohio might have surpassed California since then, as wind development has moved into the Midwest and away from California, said Ed Weston, director of WIRE-Net/the Great Lakes Wind Network, a Cleveland-based group of wind-power suppliers.

Ohio actively is organizing and promoting its wind-power supply chain, which includes 170 companies that make bearings, fasteners, control systems, composites, gear boxes, brakes, generators, metal coatings, gears, hydraulics, sensors and electronics needed to manufacture the 8,000 components found in a typical utility-size wind turbine.

The meta story, one almost completely overlooked by the US Congress, is that green profit and jobs and economic development result all across a product's value chain, not just at the wind turbine plant, as in this single example. I for one would love to work with a team of economists and industry experts to identify green value-adding steps across other supply chains, estimating the cumulative job and growth multipliers. It is surprising that more have not been reported on.

For more examples of green job counting and value chain thinking, see the previous post: "Mirror Mirror On The Wall, Who Counts Green Jobs Best Of All?"

To see the green jobs and economic development issue in terms of 'free trade,' see the earlier post: "Here's Why Free Trade Absolutism Hinders Environmental Goals - And Why Compromise WIll Help The Planet And Increase American Jobs"

Tags: Green Jobs | Ohio

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