Program in 8 Cities Should Boost Job Creation

Eight Arkansas cities will take part in the Sustainable Energy Scorecards and Education for Municipalities program led by the Applied Sustainability Center at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

The Arkansas Community Foundation awarded a grant to the center for the program as part of the foundation’s Sustainable Energy Initiative.

Arkadelphia, Fayetteville, Gould, Harrison, Hot Springs, North Little Rock, Searcy and Wynne were picked to participate in the program. Cities were selected to ensure diversity in terms of total population and utility type. Cities also were selected based on their reputation for being serious about sustainability initiatives and the ideas and commitment expressed in their applications to the program.

“Cities around the country are playing a central role in driving energy efficiency and renewable energy, and Arkansas cities stand to reap significant benefits in terms of job creation, retained wealth and attracting new investment,” said Michele Halsell, managing director of the Applied Sustainability Center. “The cities participating in the program will benefit from learning about the municipal policy innovations, hearing the success stories of other cities nationally and attending the Sustainable Energy Academy this summer at the University of Arkansas.”

The Sustainable Energy Scorecards and Education for Municipalities program provides baseline data on energy usage; a municipal energy education workshop, conducted by the Applied Sustainability Center in each city; monthly energy strategy calls and webinars; and the Summer Energy Academy. Cities also have the option of working with University of Arkansas students on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

A paper published last year by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy explains how sustainability efforts create jobs.