At Vatican, Healey makes climate tech workforce pledge – Boston News, Weather, Sports | WHDH 7News

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Speaking to a climate summit at the Vatican on Wednesday morning, Gov. Maura Healey announced that Massachusetts is partnering with a social impact investing firm to launch a climate technology workforce training fund, shooting for an initial $10 million combination of public, private and philanthropic dollars it can loan out.

With ambitious mid-century emission reduction targets on the books, Massachusetts wants to electrify heating and cooling, personal vehicle travel and more, but the state will need more than 30,000 new workers who can install heat pumps, prepare  residential homes to charge electric vehicles, build offshore wind farms, and more to get there. The Healey administration called the workforce need “a once-in-a-generation call to build an expanded and inclusive workforce.”

The Massachusetts Climate Careers Fund, to be led by nonprofit Social Finance, will offer loans to “help participants access and succeed in high-quality training programs that prepare them for good-paying, in-demand skilled climate jobs such as Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration technicians, electricians, energy auditors, and electric vehicle mechanics, among others,” the governor’s office said.

“It will provide low-cost loans to support high-quality training, including needs like childcare and transportation. That will enable more women, workers of color, and low-income residents to participate in the clean energy economy,” Healey said in her Vatican remarks, according to a copy of her speech as prepared. “It’s a recycling fund, where workers and employers pay back the loans into the fund to help more people and fill more jobs.”

In her remarks at the Vatican Climate Summit, Healey talked about the flooding of Massachusetts farms and downtowns last summer, and said she doesn’t “need to cite the Book of Genesis to say that a flood can send a message.” She said that most government systems “were not designed to meet the scale and urgency of this challenge,” and offered her setup (with a first-in-the-nation climate chief appointed at the Cabinet level to weave climate policy through all executive offices) as a model.

“We need to change the way we work. We have to be nimbler and more innovative than ever before, to adapt to urgent new realities. We need to be more evidence-based than ever before, to inform all our policies with climate science. We have to be more collaborative than ever before, to work across every function of government and every sector of the economy. We need to align all our efforts around our climate goals,” Healey said. “In short, we need a new way of governing to meet this challenge.”

(Copyright (c) 2024 State House News Service.

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