The BlueGreen Alliance, a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations, has released new data highlighting the potential for clean energy, clean manufacturing, and infrastructure investments to resonate with noncollege educated people. According to the survey, an overwhelming 72% of noncollege educated people surveyed approve of significant federal investments in clean energy and clean manufacturing.
Other findings included:
• 70% of those asked had a positive view of solar and wind energy;
• 82% had a favorable view of investing in our infrastructure including roads, bridges, railways, and airports; and
• 79% had a favorable view of investing in U.S. clean energy manufacturers so we are less reliant on China and other countries.
“This survey provides valuable insights into the mindset of noncollege educated people in key states,” said BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Jason Walsh. “It underscores the importance of clean energy, clean manufacturing, and infrastructure investments in addressing their concerns about the economy and the environment.”
Initially, those surveyed prioritize potential environmental benefits. However, the survey found effective messaging was successful in illustrating that such investments will not only benefit the environment but also improve the overall economy—particularly for working-class individuals. To build enthusiasm for expanding clean energy and clean manufacturing, the survey suggests focusing on frames that resonate with noncollege educated individuals, including energy independence, protecting the environment, and benefits to health. Messaging that emphasized how these investments will revive U.S. manufacturing and benefit noncollege educated workers also resonated well.
The survey also highlighted the need to clearly and explicitly explain the types of jobs that will be created by the Inflation Reduction Act. Finally, these individuals believe the jobs that will be created by the law and other federal policies will be good jobs for working-class families (68%) and many can see these jobs as personally relevant (64%). Many of the jobs will not require college degrees or previous experience but will provide opportunities for workers to learn on the job.
The survey also found it is crucial to emphasize the specific groups that will benefit from these investments—including low-income workers, women, and people of color. By highlighting the positive impact on these communities, the messaging can effectively engage noncollege educated individuals and garner their support.
“The Inflation Reduction Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and other federal investments are already doing big things for workers and communities around the country, and it is clear that educating people about the impacts of these laws to them, their families, and their communities builds support for a sustainable and prosperous future,” said Walsh.