Can Cleantech Revamp the American Brand?

The Made (or Manufactured) in America brand needs an Extreme Makeover. The brand’s story is told through the abandoned manufacturing towns throughout the rural U.S. Big companies move out, leaving the jobless and empty factories in their wake. 

There seems to be a logical enough solution: putting the unemployed or underemployed manufacturing workforce to work on cleantech. I’ve been looking online for recent articles on cleantech companies that have done a sort-of “Extreme Makeover Factory-town Edition” successfully and come up short. My perception is that the intentions are there, but no one company or group of companies has successfully pulled off the large-scale creation of jobs in a depressed area (or at least promoted it well). Hopefully Obama’s infusion of tax credits will help.

But The Wall Street Journal’s Keith Johnson poses an interesting question – when the cleantech revival takes place, what will it look like? Maybe we’re wrong in how we imagined the “American Brand” as a Rosie the Riveter or blue-collared factory worker standing tall in front of a flag. Instead, as Johnson suggests, Rosie may have to trade her place in the assembly line for a lab coat.

What are your thoughts?