Big news out of the Labor Department today â€” they awarded $100 million in grants to programs training workers for the green jobs of the future:
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced nearly $100 million in green jobs training grants, as authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). The grants will support job training programs to help dislocated workers and others, including veterans, women, African Americans and Latinos, find jobs in expanding green industries and related occupations. Approximately $28 million of the total funds will support projects in communities impacted by auto industry restructuring.
Through the Energy Training Partnership Grants being administered by the U.S. Department of Laborâ€™s Employment and Training Administration, 25 projects ranging from approximately $1.4 to $5 million each will receive grants. These grants are built on strategic partnerships â€” requiring labor and business to work together.
The grants announced today are part of a $500 million program created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 â€” a.k.a. â€śthe stimulus.â€ť
For details about the individual programs awarded grants, click on over to the Labor Departmentâ€™s announcement page.
UPDATE (Jan. 7): Itâ€™s not really clear from the list of grantees that DOL posted on their site, so I want to point out that training programs led by CtW-affiliated unions are prominent among those that received grants yesterday. For example, New Yorkâ€™s Shortman Fund (which was awarded a $2.8 million grant) is operated by SEIU 32BJ; SEIU locals also participate in H-CAP Inc. (granted $4.6 million); and LIUNA is active in training programs in Virginia, Rhode Island, Michigan, and Montana that were collectively awarded almost $17 million.
UPDATE (Jan. 7, 3:00PM): Quotes!
Mike Fishman, President of SEIU 32BJ:
High-impact, cost-effective labor-management programs like [the Shortman Fundâ€™s] Green Supers are vital to the success of President Obamaâ€™s energy and environmental protection agenda. With nearly 80 percent of New Yorkâ€™s greenhouse gas emissions produced by buildings itâ€™s imperative for owners, workers, environmental groups and the Federal government to jointly tackle this environmental challenge.
Terry Oâ€™Sullivan, General President, LIUNA:
Weatherization on a nationwide scale will require hundreds of thousands of skilled workers and LIUNAâ€™s weatherization training program is leading the way while creating good jobs for working families and their communities. LIUNAâ€™s credentialed weatherization workers will set the standard for a new American industry.
*This post originally appeared in Change to Win on January 6, 2010. Reprinted with permission from the author.
About the Author Jason Lefkowitz: is the Online Campaigns Organizer for Change to Win, a partnership of seven unions and six million workers united together to restore the American Dream for everybody. He built his first Web site in 1995 and has been building online communities professionally since 1998. To read more of his work, visit the Change to Win blog, CtW Connect, at http://www.changetowin.org/connect.