Wednesday, November 25, 2009

DOL Announces $55 Million in Green Jobs Grants

On Nov. 18, US Department of Labor (DOL) announced nearly $55 million in green jobs grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The grants will help various state , county and local workforce development agencies to train workers , many in underserved communities, to help them find jobs in expanding green industries and related occupations.

State Labor Market Information Improvement Grants and Green Capacity Building Grants are the two categories of the grant, and both will be administered by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration. The grants will target Native Americans, women, at-risk youth and farm workers.

State Labor Market Information Improvement Grants, totaling $48.8 million, will help create strategies to connect job seekers with green job banks and assist workers with finding employment after they complete training.

Green Capacity Building Grants, totaling $5.8 million, will increase the training capacity of 62 current Labor Department grant recipients through a variety of strategies, and will offer training opportunities to help individuals acquire jobs in expanding green industries.

Grantees will be able to employ strategies that enable job seekers to connect with green job banks and help ensure that workers find employment after completing training. The department issued 30 awards ranging from about $763,000 to $4 million to state workforce agencies to utilize data for workforce development strategies. Multiple state workforce agencies partnering as a consortium will use this program to gather information that is likely to have a regional, multi-state or national impact.

The grants are part of a larger Recovery Act initiative - totaling $500 million - for green jobs training grants designed to promote economic growth. The Labor Department expects to release funding for an additional three green grant award categories over the next several months.

"Today's announcement is part of 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," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “These grants provide an immediate return, and they are part of a larger green initiative that will help lead to increased job placements and promote economic growth."

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