Great Lakes Restoration Means Jobs

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The federal money for restoring the Everglades is also stimulating job growth in South Florida, particularly in the construction industry.

Mechanics, pipe fitters, and iron workers. Masons, carpenters, and construction contractors. Electricians, explosive experts, and heating and cooling specialists. Dump truck drivers, crane operators, and general laborers: When the State of Florida accelerated the Everglades restoration plan, it ignited a job fair, according to a recent article. I wrote for the Michigan Land Use Institute.

In total, Florida officials expect to establish as many as 4,000 short-term construction and support jobs by 2010 by executing eight of the 64 total projects planned to restore the Everglades. And that is just the blue collar labor. The figure does not include the army of scientists, consultants, teachers, policy wonks, architects, real estate agents, and other white collar professionals that have planned, designed, financed, and otherwise begun to advance one of the largest environmental rehab initiatives in the nation’s history.
The Great Lakes restoration would be an even bigger project, and generate even more jobs for Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and other Great Lakes States. In fact, investing in the recommended sewer repairs alone could generate some 350,000 short-term jobs in the construction industry, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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Public investments to restore the Everglades, pictured here, are helping to secure
South Florida’s economy, ecology, and culture for future generations.  
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