Find Out How Wind Energy is Creating New Jobs and Increased Revenue in a Local Ohio Town

Residents of Ohio’s Van Wert County, a rural farming community of about 29,000 people, never thought they would see the “windfall” of new jobs, better school services, tech training, and increased tax revenues all from clean wind energy. 

Perhaps best summed up by Eric Germann, Board President of Lincolnview Local Schools: “No large factories are coming here. To see this kind of revenue fall out of the sky, it’s incredible.”  Or, as described by Van Wert County resident Bob Barker, the local wind project “really gave us a shot in the arm for our economy, an uplift; it’s helped create jobs and it’s helped the farmers to recover money. I don’t see any negative there, I see everything positive.”

According to State Representative Tony Burkley (R), the state’s $600 million investment in wind energy in Paulding and Van Wert County was the largest investment made by Ohio in 2008, of which $25 million was directed toward Van Wert County. Ohio’s initiative to rebuild its economy by establishing itself as a clean energy leader has clearly paid off locally. Not only in new job creation, but also from skyrocketing hotel-motel tax revenues, which removed pressure from school districts to raise property taxes to fund the education budget. Not only the workers, but also the property owners and families of Van Wert County have reaped the benefits.

So … the good news? Not just economic growth … not just new jobs … not just increased tax revenues to the community … but also a boost in general awareness about the benefits of renewable energy and the clean energy economy. Local leaders are proving once again that leading from behind on clean energy is not just the good thing to do, but the smart thing to do for communities today. 

Harnessing the wind: Transforming Ohio with clean energy

By The Ohio Environmental Council

See the untold story of how wind energy is transforming a small Ohio community.

Tucked away in the vast cornfields of rural Northwest Ohio is a story of environmental and economic success that few have ever heard.

Just a few years ago, the towns of Van Wert and Paulding were being left behind by the 21st century economy. County offices were forced to go to four-day workweeks to save money, the local jail was outsourced, and the city stopped funding its economic development office, which is supposed to bring jobs to the community.

Fast forward a few years, the community is now home to hundreds of wind turbines that are generating not only clean, renewable energy, but are also generating a host of economic benefits for local businesses, school districts, and farmers.

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