Ohio Town Sees Green Opportunity in Devastating Economic News
With Job Cut, Ohio Town Looks to Green EconomicsWilmington, Ohio got word this week that DHL would cut 9,500 jobs. The small town in farm country lays at the center point between Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus and is a central distribution hub for the shipping company. DHL's announcement means 7,000 job cuts in Wilmington, more than half of the city's total population. Locals believe, though, that this devastating news may bring the opportunity for a greener Ohio, starting with the creation of thousands of green jobs in the small town of Wilmington. More below the fold.Ohio Town Looks to Green Jobs For Hope Amidst a Crisis
In 2003, DHL purchased Airborne Express in Wilmington, OH to set up an air freight hub in the U.S. After five years of struggling to compete in the U.S market, the company announced in May 2008 its plans to shut down its U.S. air freight services leading to the closure of the hub in Wilmington. The DHL layoff has already been called the largest layoff in one place, at one time, in U.S. history and will eliminate 7,000 jobs in Wilmington.
Wilmington residents are now forming a coalition to propose the city be declared a "Green Economic Zone" that will serve as an example to the rest of Ohio and the country. They believe with the large population of DHL workers now jobless, there is a serious potential for green collar job re-training and the birth of the state's green economy. The political environment provides the perfect background upon which to make this historical move: the Governor of Ohio recently proposed the Energy, Jobs and Progress program with the goal of requiring 25% of the electricity in Ohio be generated from green tech by 2025.
Wilmington is hoping to be at the heart of this green economic movement in Ohio. The residents working on the proposal to declare the city a "Green Economic Zone" has plans to explore both the wind and solar markets' potential in the region. The grassroot group hopes that Wilmington may one day be home to companies that produce and install renewable energy tech across the state and beyond.
Wilmington is one of many cities across the nation turning to green economics as the downturn takes a serious toll on their local economy. Pueblo Colorado is looking to wind for green jobs and Pennsylvania towns may see green jobs too.