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John D. Thomas Headshot

Getting Back On The Path

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The prevailing attitude towards job creation in the nation needs no explanation. The data speaks for itself. The lack of strategy and dead-end initiatives continue to leave Americans feeling hopeless and uninspired. We are disillusioned and frustrated that our leaders cannot seem to work together to offer a comprehensive action plan. What we need now is to restore economic growth and we need to do it ourselves.

Just when we think we hit bottom we continue to plummet. As more uncertainty grows based on Europe's socio-economic issues a common global theme arises: how do societies instill a sense of optimism and confidence that we can and will get back on a path of sustainable growth?

Doesn't the answer lie in the question itself? There is a way to foster employment growth with a generation put to work on an economic engine that can create the tax revenues to ultimately meet the social expenditure requirements. That path is renewable energy.

There is an obvious macro-economic opportunity touching every country and society on the planet: the transformation from a fossil fuel based economy to one based on renewable energy. Every hour enough solar energy hits the Earth's surface to power the planet for a year. Only 13 percent of the seashore winds have to be tapped to power the entire United States. When the raw material "fuel" for our planetary power needs is free (wind & solar), why would we not make a full court press for the next 50 years to make it so?

Clearly, all of the competing interest to maintain the status quo is the reason we are not in vigorous pursuit of this global energy policy. Andy Grove stated it well when he said, "This is nothing less than the transformation of the seven trillion dollar energy economy." The current stakeholders understandably do not want to lose grip of their profit streams and governments are worried about geopolitical destabilization if that transformation is made too quickly.

ALTe Powertrain Technologies, the company I co-founded in 2008, is committed to social entrepreneurship to help catalyze this shift in fuel sources and stimulate job growth. We are working harder than we ever imagined to raise capital so we can employ people to engineer, including veterans and more women, to produce products that absolutely reduce fuel consumption by a minimum of 50 percent. Thanks to organizations like The Huffington Post and the Clinton Global Initiative, we will gain traction as we lead the charge (pun intended) with our ElectrifyYourFleet.com project. We are bundling a big order for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in order to drive prices down in a buying co-op type of purchase.

Additionally, we are tying in all industry stakeholders to be able to broadcast best practices and share templates in this very fragmented utility, municipality and vehicle world that we live. We see job growth coming from our direct engineering staff, production staff, charging station companies, electrical installation contractors, component manufacturers of next generation electric automobile devices and even landscapers who restore and improve the parking lot areas after charging stations are installed.

The plan is working. From a humble inception of just seven employees, ALTe has grown its staff nearly every quarter for the past 3 years with a plan to reach over 180 employees in 2013 with a current average salary of over $89,000 per year.

We must ask ourselves are we still willing to wait or are we going to act now and begin the change we so earnestly need to save both our environment and economy?