Today the Department of Labor announced nearly $55 million in grants to help workers, many in underserved communities, find jobs in expanding green industries.
As a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, these grants reflect the administration’s long-term commitment to fostering both immediate economic growth and a clean energy future. It’s an investment that will help American workers do well, while doing good.
The recipients of today’s grants will strengthen the capacity to provide training opportunities, support the collection and dissemination of invaluable state labor market information, and most importantly, help individuals acquire green jobs.
Of the grants announced, $48.8 million focus on collecting and disseminating labor market information, which will enable job seekers to connect with green job banks and help to ensure that workers find employment after completing training. State workforce agencies will be able to work together as part of a consortium to collect information and create a regional, multi-state or national impact.
In addition, $5.8 million in grants have been awarded to increase the capacity of 62 current Labor Department grant recipients to provide training opportunities specifically focused on jobs in expanding green industries.
These grants aren’t just more money to the same players. They reflect my commitment, that of the Department of Labor and that of this administration to ensure that help finds those who need it most. Many of these training grants are targeted at traditionally underserved communities, including American Indians, women, at-risk youth, and farm workers.
As a result, programs like Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Employment for Women (ANEW) in Western Washington State will be able to provide training and certificate programs in green industries to women who are low-income, unemployed, at-risk youth, or our female veterans.
These investments are part of nearly $500 million in Recovery Act money for green jobs grants designed to promote economic growth. Over the next several months the Department of Labor will release funding for an additional three green grant award categories.
I encourage you all to visit www.doleta.gov for information on the recipients of the current grants as well as information about upcoming grant opportunities.
It is time for America to seize the opportunity of a clean energy economy, and American workers must lead this green revolution. That is why we are investing these dollars here at home in American jobs and American innovation. By making strategic choices now, we will restore our country’s role as a global leader in the clean energy industry.
Hilda Solis is the Secretary of Labor