One positive aspect of renewable energy often not played up as much as increasing US energy independence and pollution-free power is the technologies’ abilty to create and maintain jobs. This is particularly evident through GE’s many ventures with renewable energy. General Electric (GE) Transportation said they have created 228 jobs in northwestern Pennsylvania by expanding operations in its turbine production plant and locomotive production plant.Erie, Pennsylvania – August 30, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Positions were opened for 23 jobs in the gear and turbine plant, which will start to adapt the company’s gearbox and electric power drive systems made for off-highway vehicles for use in wind turbines. At the locomotive plant, 205 new positions were opened in the development department for GE’s evolution series locomotives, which are designed to meet federal emissions standards. The company also retained 4,413 existing jobs at its Erie and Grove City operations. “This partnership with GE Transportation is a perfect example of how DCED programs help businesses grow in the Commonwealth,” said Dennis Yablonsky, who is the secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). “GE employs more than 8,000 Pennsylvanians, with nearly half of them working right here in Erie. The wind energy and locomotive projects will also benefit the environment.” A Governor’s Action Team worked with the company to support the two expansion projects through state grants. DCED provided an $800,000 Opportunity Grant for the locomotive project, a $250,000 Opportunity Grant for the wind energy project, and $200,000 to fund customized job training for the wind energy project. “The state’s financial assistance will help us grow these product lines so they become part of the foundation of GE Transportation for years to come,” said Charlene Begley, President and Chief Executive Office of GE Transportation’s rail business.