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During a visit to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 343, based in Rochester, Minn., U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman called for the extension of the production tax credit (PTC) to support American jobs, including for construction workers, technicians, welders and other electrical workers.

"Minnesota is on the front lines of America’s growing clean energy economy. Its innovative businesses and training programs will develop a workforce with the skills necessary for the manufacturing jobs of the future," said Poneman. "To grow our clean energy industry, President Obama has called on Congress to extend important federal tax credits, including the 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit, which supports technologies ranging from fuel cells and wind turbines to advanced vehicle batteries."

Local 343 offers a wind certification program, and its facility features a 60-foot turbine tower section to help train workers on deploying and maintaining wind turbine technology.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy DOE, total U.S. wind generation has grown by 27% over the last year, with production facilities in more than 40 states. However, the wind industry projects that nearly 30,000 jobs will be lost next year if the PTC expires, including direct jobs as well as those in the wind energy supply chain.

Working in tandem with the PTC, the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit provides a 30% investment credit to manufacturers that invest in capital equipment to make components for clean energy projects in the U.S.

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