Skip to main content

Committee Advances Bill to Create Good Union Jobs in Renewable Energy jobs

Andy O’Brien
Social share icons

The Maine Legislature’s Labor and Housing Committee voted 8 to 3 on Wednesday to recommend passage of LD 1969, which will create good quality clean energy jobs and advance equity in the renewable energy industry. The bill faces further votes in the Maine House and Senate.

LD 1969, sponsored by Rep. Scott Cuddy (IBEW 1253), requires contractors on large renewable energy projects (solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, hydro, etc) to pay prevailing wages, which ensure that workers are paid decent wages and benefits that are customary for each occupation in an industry.

LD 1969 also helps working class Mainers access clean energy careers by building out a system for using pre-apprenticeship programs in Maine and encouraging the use of registered apprenticeship programs. This will ensure workers earn while they learn and Maine will develop a skilled, local clean energy workforce for these projects and beyond. Pre-apprenticeship programs prepare workers for direct entry into registered apprenticeship programs.

Finally, the measure will encourage the Maine Public Utilities Commission to give a little more consideration to companies that are either employee-owned or use Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) when procuring energy under Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. PLAs ensure good quality jobs and the highest quality work. They are a project management tool utilized to ensure a highly skilled workforce on a project so it is completed on time and under budget.