Presidential hopeful and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee toured the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 48’s training center Saturday as part of his Climate Mission Tour.

Inslee is traveling the country to meet with people focused on clean energy and combating climate change; the IBEW labor union is “a leader in training electricians in clean energy trades across the country,” according to a news release from Inslee.

He spoke with members of IBEW specifically about the union’s apprenticeship program and clean energy jobs. 

“This has been a really inspiring visit,” Inslee said. “We know that we’re going to build a new clean energy economy in this nation and we know IBEW members are at the cutting edge of that.

“These are young people that are going to have 40-, 50-year careers building a whole new clean energy infrastructure for the United States, and that is just jobs galore everywhere in the country.”

Presidential hopeful and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, right, speaks with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 48 business manager Gary Young at the IBEW training center in Portland, Ore., Saturday, March 23, 2019. Inslee is visiting cities across the country as part of the Climate Mission Tour in the early stages of his presidential compaign.

Presidential hopeful and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, right, speaks with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 48 business manager Gary Young at the IBEW training center in Portland, Ore., Saturday, March 23, 2019. Inslee is visiting cities across the country as part of the Climate Mission Tour in the early stages of his presidential compaign.

Bradley W. Parks/OPB

He also spoke more generally on his hopes for the country to get on board in defeating climate change, something he has struggled with in Washington.

“What we’re learning is the nation very much understands the threat of climate change,” Inslee said. “This used to be a graph. This used to be a chart, but now it’s Paradise, California, burning to the ground. It’s Houston under water. It’s Nebraska under water. It’s Puerto Rico.”

He continued: “The nation is ready for leadership. They need a vision that involves job creation, and I’m providing that vision.”

Inslee announced his bid for the presidency at the start of March, making climate change the central issue of his campaign.