Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) sent the following letter to Mr. David Boyce, Chief Executive Officer of Wind Capital Group, regarding the recent approval of the Sugarland Wind construction plan by the Palm Beach County Commission. Hastings urged Mr. Boyce to work with local partners to ensure residents in the community are prepared to fill the jobs this project will create, as well as to address the impact these wind turbines will have on wildlife in the area. (Please find below and attached a copy of the letter).
March 27, 2012
President and CEO
Wind Capital Group
1 South Dearborn, Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60603
Dear Mr. Boyce:
I write in reference to the Palm Beach County Commission's recent approval of the Sugarland Wind construction plan. I welcome this opportunity to address South Florida's need for a sustainable energy supply while at the same time creating badly needed jobs.
As you know, the turbines are expected to be located in my Congressional district, near the Glades communities which have suffered crippling unemployment rates since long before the 2008 recession. Your company anticipates that this project will create between 250 and 300 jobs during construction, and between 15 and 20 permanent jobs afterward. It is a wonderful opportunity to create work for the people who live in this area. Therefore, I ask whether Wind Capital intends to hire residents in the surrounding communities of Belle Glade, Pahokee, and South Bay? If so, what procedures are in place to make sure that as many local residents as possible are hired?
You should also be aware that there are many resources within the Glades communities that can work with your company to develop any educational or training programs that would help residents improve their qualifications for these specific jobs. For example, the Workforce Alliance, Palm Beach College, and Indian River State College all would make excellent partners with Wind Capital in this effort to train local residents.
Additionally, I am concerned about the potential impact of these turbines on the migratory and endangered bird populations in the area. What is Wind Capital doing to minimize the impact that these turbines will have on our wildlife?
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to working with your company on this important project. I sincerely hope that it will bring much-needed jobs to the Glades communities that have been plagued with high unemployment rates for far too long.
If you should have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
Alcee L. Hastings
Member of Congress
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Democratic Chairman of the Florida Delegation.