Hi All -
Ever since I began working at the Daily Republic I have been impressed by the energy portfolio in Solano County. Wind, Solar, Oil, Hydro, Natural Gas, Biofuel - You name it and our county can provide it. I am a bit of an energy-information junky, so for a while I have been wanting to photograph workers in the various energy fields. I have been trying to figure out a news peg that would allow me to get the stories of some of these workers, and the recent surge of interest in the "green collar economy" gave me a perfect opportunity to do this. So I approached Barry Eberling about doing some stories on various green collar workers. I figured it would be a great way to localize a big national story, and as a side benefit I would get to photograph some of Solano's energy workers.
Sometimes my story ideas fall on deaf ears, but Barry jumped all over this one, and before I knew it I was driving through green fields filled with sheep and wind turbines. I learned that Solano County is actually a major wind resource for the state, and that these wind turbines can each power more than 500 homes.
One of the workers I met, Anthony Perales, who is pictured in the top photo, is a former auto worker and provides a window into the power of the green collar economy. He was laid off from his job as a mechanic at a car dealership, and a friend told him about windsmithing. He talked about having a sense of pride from his work that he has never felt before. "I come to work everyday and feel like I am doing something to help the entire world," he said. "It's a really great feeling."
There is something to be said for the sense of mattering that will come to more workers as the green collar economy expands.
Another worker who has been a windsmith for 21 years told me that people's impression of him and his job has changed dramatically. "It used to be this pie in the sky thing that everyone thought was kind of silly," he said. "Now everyone is really interested in it and really wants to see it succeed."
You can hear more of these guys thoughts and see more pictures at the mutlimedia piece I made for the story which you can see by clicking here
Hopefully, I'll be able to post photos from more green collar workers in the future. If you are a green collar worker or if you have a friend who is please send an email to me at cjordan @ dailyrepublic.net.
Hope all is well -