Rochester Post-Bulletin Letter: Area Wind Projects Should Use Area Union Workers

The Rochester Post-Bulletin ran LIUNA 405 Business Manager Dave Borst's letter calling on developers to do more to make sure that "renewable energy projects are built by local workers."

The Aug. 9 column, "Wind energy industry isn't just blowing smoke" laid out many of the reasons why wind energy could be a good thing for Minnesota. However, one point was missed: While some wind projects have put hundreds of Minnesotans to work, others such as EDF's Red Pine Wind seem to rely on cheaper out-of-state labor and leave local communities in the cold.

Laborers International Union of North America Local 405 in Rochester represents hundreds of construction workers across southeast Minnesota, and our members support renewable energy. However, we would like to see more renewable developers do more to ensure that wind and other renewable energy projects are built by local workers.

Our state's workforce is more than capable of doing the work safely and well. More renewable projects should mean more jobs for Minnesotans. But the winds of change need to blow so that Minnesota's workforce gets a fair shot at promised jobs.