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Census: Arizona second in solar-related jobs

PHOENIX -- Arizona continues to be one of the top states leading the way when it comes to the solar power industry, a census said.

Arizona has about 8,500 people in the solar field, according to a job census from the Solar Foundation. That was enough for second in the nation, trailing only California.

However, the number solar jobs in the state declined from last year.

"The jobs numbers did decline from last year by about 1,200 jobs and part of that is due to some reduced work in the commercial solar industry," said Bret Fanshaw with Environment Arizona, adding that the elimination of solar incentives also hurt job numbers.

Despite the drop in jobs, Fanshaw still believes Arizona is in a good spot.

"The bottom line really is that the sky is the limit for solar energy in Arizona," he said. "We can produce pollution-free power that has no fuel costs.

"But we also need to look at and keep the good policies that we have to continue to foster growth."

Fanshaw said less than 2 percent of Arizona's power comes from solar energy.

About the Author

Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.


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