Philip Mattera

Philip Mattera is the research director of Good Jobs First in Washington, D.C.

Recent Articles

A Green Industrial Economy

The opportunity for good jobs is there -- but unionization and government contracting standards will make a huge difference.

In 2007 the central Iowa town of Newton mourned the closing of the Maytag appliance factory that had been the economic anchor of the community for more than a century. Only a month later, local officials happily announced that TPI Composites, a producer of blades for giant wind-energy turbines, had chosen Newton as the location for a new 500-worker production facility. The announcement was important enough for Gov. Chet Culver to make an appearance and declare: "Today is a new day and a hopeful day for Newton." Defying the odds, the town was reversing the deindustrialization that has devastated so many U.S. communities. The TPI Composites plant is not an isolated instance. About half a dozen manufacturing operations serving wind-energy generators have opened in Iowa during the past few years. The firms involved range from young companies such as Clipper Windpower to a unit of the German industrial powerhouse Siemens. And the Iowa cluster is not an anomaly. Across the country, dozens...