Pennsylvania steels itself for a green revolution

Pennsylvania is well known as the birthplace of America, but did you know that it has also been at the forefront of every energy revolution in the world? From coal and oil to hydrofracking and solar power, we’ll look at how the state’s historic legacy has impacted its ability to transition to a greener tomorrow.

In this week’s episode, host Jay Tipton kicks off his national tour in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of our nation. Here at the epicenter of a political divide between old and new energy sources, Jay speaks to historian Tom Foley about how closely linked the state’s identity is to the coal and oil industries. As he’ll come to find out, Pennsylvania has undergone several transitions in the past, each one serving the greater good of both the state’s citizens and the environment.

For many Pennsylvanians, heritage is a huge source of pride, especially given the amount of family ties back to the coal, oil, and steel manufacturing industries. In order to see how green initiatives are affecting workers, Jay speaks with Tim Shippey, a union carpenter and bridge welder, about his most recent job completing a solar panel installation atop the same steel mill that employed his father.

Next, Jay takes a closer look at entry level opportunities by talking to Ronn Cort, President & COO of Sekisui Kydex, a manufacturer of recyclable thermoplastics. Not only has Ronn’s company reimagined plastic as a renewable material, but he has also laid the foundation to instill purpose in his workers, breathing new life (and new talent) into the world of manufacturing.

Before leaving PA, Jay chats with Walt Yakabowsky about the training programs available to both old and new workers looking to acquire green skills – and how much money they can expect to earn in their new lines of work. Finally, Jay connects with Philadelphia’s Chief Resilience Officer, Saleem Chapman, to discuss how Pennsylvanians of all backgrounds can promote equity by coming together in the large-scale effort needed to ready the state for climate change.

Featuring: Jay Tipton, Tom Foley, Tim Sippey, Paula DiPerna, Ronn Cort, Walt Yakabowsky, Saleem Chapman
Producer by: Alicia Clark
Executive Producers: Melissa Panzer, Joan Lynch, Art Bilger
Written by: Jay Tipton, Alicia Clark, Mike Zunic
Editing and Sound Mixing by: Lynz Floren
Music by: Avocado Junkie
Made possible by: the Walton Family Foundation
Check out all the other podcasts here: Work Green, Earn Green

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