100,000 jobs, 90B in investment, and a heat pump telling you he loves you

February 17, 2023

It’s the IRA’s half-birthday and we’re wholly pumped

It’s the Inflation Reduction Act’s 6-month anniversary and the numbers are in—since then, there have been more than 100,000 clean energy jobs created __ and a grand total of $89.5 billion in investments__, according to a new report from Climate Power. These stats show how the IRA has helped kickstart a flywheel of electric growth, making clean energy that much more attainable and actionable for every household in America. This growth is all the more astounding considering 1 in 3 registered voters have heard nothing about the IRA.

Our IRA calculator can give you an estimate of how many electrical bucks could be coming your way, but our trusty tool can’t actually install that new heat pump for you. That’s where people take over. We want to highlight the individuals and groups doing the everyday work of electrification. At Rewiring America, we estimate, we’re going to need one million electricians over the next decade. Who are the people who will fill these jobs, helping us wire our homes and communities? We’d like to introduce you to one of them.

Tonya Hicks

As a child growing up in Meridian, Mississippi, Tonya Hicks shadowed her Uncle Melvin, an industrial mechanic, as he worked. Not many 8-year-olds can rebuild a motor from the ground up. Being part of the “not many’s” became a consistent theme in Hicks’ life: Not many women pursuing mathematics, not many women working as electricians, not many women-owned construction businesses.

Her interest in the electrical field took real shape during a summer job at a local paper mill, where she observed industrial electricians using math as part of their work. She saw her path and charged forward. Hicks completed the intensive five-year electrician training apprenticeship, earning the status of wireman electrician in the elite International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). She was the first woman to gain entrance to her local chapter, IBEW 917, and the first African American woman to earn the title in the state of Mississippi.

In an interview on the My Climate Journey podcast, Hicks spoke about the passage of the IRA, saying, “I think it’s a game changer….(I’m) really looking forward to educating and helping people transition into using electric, rather than gas.”

*Tonya Hicks is President and CEO of Power Solutions, Inc. and Managing Principal of Women Do Everything, LLC. *

State by numbers

ArizonaArizona With solar panel tax credits protected under the IRA, a previously stalled solar panel plant project in Goodyear, AZ is back on track.

Georgia IRA investments Georgia Automaker Hyundai is investing billions in a battery plant outside of Atlanta that will supply batteries for the company’s electric vehicles.

PA Ira Investments Pennsylvania The land of coal and steel is set to flip that script with a projected 200,000 jobs in clean energy over the next decade.

West Virginia IRA Investments West Virginia Electric school buses? We are here for it. GreenPower Motor announced plans to manufacture a line of all-electric school buses in their newly acquired West Charleston facility.