Alum introduces Obama at signing ceremony for stimulus bill
Yesterday Blake Jones gave President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden a tour of a solar array his company installed on the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the largest system of its kind in Colorado.
“I get the opportunity to talk about my favorite subject with the president of the United States,” Jones told the Denver Post Tuesday, Feb. 17.
Jones had other opportunities, too.
He gave a brief speech and introduced Obama before the president signed the $787 billion economic stimulus bill Tuesday at a ceremony in Denver.
Before the tour and the introduction, Jones told the Denver Post and NBC’s Channel 9 News in Denver: “I’m incredibly excited. Words can’t describe – this is unbelievable.”
Jones, CEO of Namaste Solar, a company with offices in Denver and Boulder, is a 1996 Vanderbilt University civil engineering graduate.
Jones, 34, told Channel 9 that Namaste Solar hasn’t been able to move forward on many projects and had to implement a hiring freeze. He was even considering layoffs.
He told reporters Tuesday he understands why the president chose Denver to sign the stimulus bill.
“President Obama chose to come to Colorado and we can’t wait to showcase the good news about green job creation, about what solar companies like ours have been doing here in Colorado,” Jones said, who believes stimulus will help him out.
“Colorado is a leader in renewable energy development. We’ve got fantastic renewable resources,” Jones said. “Four years ago when our company got started, Colorado made an investment in renewable energy development when the voters passed Amendment 37, which in some ways was kind of like the stimulus bill because it created companies like mine and another 100 companies like that, and together we’ve created 1,500 solar jobs over the last three years.”
Jones thinks the stimulus bill will get projects moving. “We’re going to be not only maintaining jobs that otherwise would’ve been lost, but we’re also going to start hiring again.”
Compiled from reports in the Denver Post and on Channel 9 News in Denver
Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 in alumni, Blake Jones,Alumni, Civil and Environmental Engineering, News