By Mona Shand

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - When it comes to putting Missourians to work, the clean energy sector is making big strides. That's according to a new report which finds the industry now employs more than 40,000 people statewide. When Zach Tucker and his brother started One3LED three years ago, it was just the two of them.

But the company, which helps businesses transition from traditional to more energy efficient lighting systems, has since grown to 20 employees and a nationwide sales team. Tucker, vice president of operations, attributes much of the growth to strong public policies.

"Just with the different programs that the statewide utilities have released, and some of the government mandates on not being able to use older technology, has really coaxed people to have to replace this existing technology that's drawing so much energy off our energy grids," says Tucker.

The report notes that with the right policies, Missouri's clean energy industry is poised to grow as much as seven percent in 2015. Governor Nixon and state lawmakers are expected to finish work on the state's new energy plan by the end of May. The full report is available at ""

Tucker says the report, which was commissioned by the non-partisan Missouri Energy Initiative and Environmental Entrepreneurs, is proof that a clean energy economy isn't a thing of the future.

"It's here. We're living it right now," he says. "By participating in this clean energy revolution, you're also helping the environment and creating jobs, which are two of the biggest things that the world needs right now."

The report credits the clean energy sector's growth to a combination of the state's successful renewable energy standard, its utility-based energy efficiency programs, dropping prices for renewable energy, and rising electricity costs