Dan Medakovic is carving out a new career and creating jobs for others, thanks to Ontario’s Green Energy Act.
The Dundas resident, former vice-president of a software company, started his own business selling and installing solar-power systems in January, after the Ontario Power Authority created a demand by paying premium prices for renewable energy.
He says Radiant Returns is already providing work for him, his brother and another salesperson and will soon need the services of three installation companies — an example of the kind of green jobs that can help Hamilton make up for the continuing hemorrhage of traditional jobs at places such as the Siemens turbine plant and Lakeport brewery.
“People like us are driven by opportunity,” Medakovic says, “and I always have had an interest in clean energy as well as technology, period, so this business aligns with my ethics and drive as an entrepreneur. It’s a perfect story of opportunity, ethics and environmentalism.”
Mohawk College, Environment Hamilton, BlueGreen Canada and the Hamilton & District Labour Council, hoping to stimulate more such opportunities, are holding a daylong conference April 17 titled Good Green Jobs, Making It Happen in Hamilton.
It’s a free event, being staged with help of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, but space is limited, so participants must register for workshops in advance at mohawkcollege.ca/goodgreenjobs.
The conference is open to anyone interested in learning more about the new green economy and how workers, businesses and others can benefit. Organizers say upgrading existing buildings and requiring greener new-home construction could create green jobs, but there is also a need to train workers for those jobs.