A distant image of an Appalachian town. Credit: Getty Images

PERI Publishes Report Showing that Green Locomotive Manufacturing Can be a Big Driver of Jobs in Appalachia

Gregor Semieniuk, assistant research professor from the UMass Amherst Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), joined representatives from ReImagine Appalachia and the United Electrical Workers to present the findings of a new report on the job-creation potential of green locomotive production in Erie, Penn., during a webinar held on April 25.

gregor semieniuk
Gregor Semieniuk

Keystone Research Center hosted the webinar, which highlighted the study’s findings that producing 1,000 green locomotives per year at the Westinghouse Air Brake Technology (Wabtec) Lawrence Park plant would create 3,400-5,100 jobs at that facility, a similar number (3,060-5,100) of jobs in Erie County outside of Lawrence Park and 9,860-14,960 jobs to the U.S. economy as a whole.

The new report estimates the employment impact of producing 500 and 1000 locomotives at Lawrence Park and models how that impact varies based on the locomotives being clean (“tier 4”) diesel-electric locomotives or battery-electric locomotives with the batteries manufactured onsite – which would create more jobs – or sourced outside the plant.

Joining Semieniuk on the webinar were Stephen Herzenberg, Keystone Research Center executive director and co-director of ReImagine Appalachia; Carl Rosen, general president of the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE); and Scott Slawson, UE Local 506 president.

The complete webinar can be viewed on the ReImagine Appalachia website, and the full report can be found on the Keystone Research Center website.