U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan can feel the winds of change blowing and he's planning on taking advantage of the power they can provide.
And so are others.
Mark Catello, business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 573, says local workers are being trained in fast-growing fields of wind and solar technology, preparing apprentices and journeyman for the clean energy tidal wave.
Dave Ambrose wants to lower the power bill at his Warren home while proving wrong those who say northeast Ohio cannot support solar power generation.
''I want people to know about it,'' said Ambrose, who hopes the 16 photovoltaic on the roof of his Atlantic Street N.E. home, will save a bunch on his electric bill. ''This is part of our future, making sure we have clean energy and (are) not dependent on other countries, that we make it ourselves in our own communities.''
As Ohio continues to trend toward clean energy, green jobs and product manufacturing as a method to recover from an economic slide, initiatives in wind, solar and other green technologies are being developed to favorably position the state's economy.
Others, like Ambrose, are becoming green for their own benefit.
Ryan, D-Niles, said the groundwork for an economic development infrastructure is being laid with the Regional Chamber hiring an international business development specialist and the Western Reserve Port Authority is close to hiring an economic development director.
''In that regard, we'll have the infrastructure in place, have people knocking on doors, and then once they get bites, they'll be able to use the chamber, the port authority and have all the different financing mechanisms they have to get the deal put together,'' Ryan said.
Additionally, there's work being done to establishing relationships with groups like the Cleveland Foundation and and Fund For Our Economic Future to make the idea of regionalism a reality.
Ryan also points to the development of the downtown Warren green business incubator, which will be able to reach out to northeast groups and universities, like Youngstown State University for support and, at the same time, offer support to ideas and businesses.
''In Warren, we will have a real infrastructure in place to grow these new companies,'' Ryan said.
Those are companies like AlphaMicron in Portage County, which Ryan said now is using its liquid crystal technology initially developed for military application in windows which darken in sunlight. The company developed by professors at Kent State University started in a laboratory and grew into a business.
''That's what we want to do with the incubator,'' Ryan said. ''Get these companies to come in and figure out how to make their products. It really unleashes the creativity and ingenuity in America.''
Catello said the center on Research Parkway in Champion gives electrical workers the opportunity to train on solar panel and wind turbine technology. There are 36 panels in the solar system, which is nearly complete. A turbine is expected to be erected next month, Catello said.
''We've already trained 40 people on solar installation,'' he said.
It's not all green job training at the Champion location. The building itself contains state-of-the-art green technology, Catello said.
In addition to the solar panels and turbine, the site features a geo-thermal heating and cooling system, sensor activated energy efficient lighting and temperature control setbacks.
''We're about as energy efficient as you can get,'' he said.
To operate, climate costs in the 20,000-square-foot building, are what they were in a 7,500-foot space.
''We're getting about three times the space for the same amount of energy,'' Catello said.
The 16 photovoltaic panels Ambrose had installed on his roof, he hopes, will result in an 80 percent reduction on his power bill. Additionally, the energy he can produce in excess will be sold back to Ohio Edison.
''I'll get paid by Ohio Edison, get a credit on my energy bill,'' Ambrose said.
The system cost about $16,000 to install, including a 30 percent grant through the Ohio Department of Development, which saved Ambrose about $8,000. It's estimated, the system will be paid off in 11 to 14 years, Ambrose said.
Additionally, Ambrose said he undergone other energy and cost saving measures, including adding insulation, new windows and buying energy star appliances.