For Immediate Release - January 21, 2010

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces $6 Million Award from U.S. Department of Labor to Invest in Green Job Training

BOSTON - Thursday, January 21, 2010 - As part of his Massachusetts Recovery Plan, Governor Deval Patrick today announced nearly $6 million in federal recovery funds to make immediate investments in green job training and support services for unemployed and underemployed workers throughout the Commonwealth.

Today's grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will go toward training for unemployed, underemployed and incumbent workers in energy efficient building, construction and retrofit, renewable electric power, biofuels, energy efficiency assessment, sustainable manufacturing, environmental protection and green construction. With these new resources, an estimated 1,400 people will receive training for high-demand jobs where state policies are driving job growth.

"This award from the U.S. Department of Labor is the right grant at the right time," said Governor Deval Patrick. "I am grateful to the Department of Labor and to the Massachusetts congressional delegation for recognizing the green jobs potential that comes from ambitious energy efficiency and renewable energy policies adopted at the state level. Massachusetts is poised to make the most of that potential, and has already laid the foundation for major job growth in the clean energy field. This grant will expand those opportunities to more of our workers in the days to come."

"Getting climate and energy reforms passed in the senate is the best possible thing we can do to stimulate the economy and create jobs. This investment will allow us to train our workforce so they can hit the ground running in clean energy jobs that pay well," said Senator John Kerry.

"As the co-author of the Green Jobs Act with now Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, and after working to ensure that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided the first allotment of funds for green jobs, I am pleased to see that the Commonwealth has been awarded a $6 million grant," said Congressman John F. Tierney. "Such funds are expected to help Massachusetts workers get the skills and training they need to obtain jobs in high growth energy efficiency and renewable energy industries."

"As someone who graduated from a building trades apprenticeship program, I am pleased to see these funds will provide the investment and improved training necessary to help put people back to work," Congressman Stephen F. Lynch said.

"With these funds, the Obama Administration is giving the green light to green jobs here in the Commonwealth," said Congressman Ed Markey. "This grant will create hundreds of jobs in energy efficiency and biofuels, all while helping to build a pathway towards energy independence. Massachusetts was the birth of the first industrial revolution, and these Economic Recovery Act funds will help start the green jobs revolution right here in our community."

The $6 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant from the United States Department of Labor (DOL) is one of 34 ranging from $2 million to $6 million being awarded nationwide.

The Massachusetts Energy Sector Partnership was convened by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to implement a training strategy that focuses on industry sectors supported by the state's energy policy and occupations that businesses have identified as in demand and for which workers can be trained in less than three years. Additional partner organizations in the program include the Commonwealth Corporation, the Clean Energy Center and a wide range of labor organizations, clean energy companies, and education and training providers.

The Partnership will leverage the investments made through state energy training funds to build training capacity throughout the state, as well as build on the capacity provided through the Workforce Investment Act and state investments to develop region specific solutions to worker training needs in these emerging industries.

"These grants will help working families across our Commonwealth gain access to good, safe jobs at a living wage," Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Joanne Goldstein said. "I am pleased that this coalition of labor leaders, industry leaders, the public workforce system, and education and training providers will be able to access these resources as they build career pathways for our workers."

"This grant is a great addition to the Commonwealth's green job training initiatives already implemented by the Patrick-Murray Administration," Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles said. "Massachusetts is leading the nation in investment in energy efficiency and in adoption of renewable energy technologies like solar, and the result is jobs. With these funds, we will continue to build a strong workforce and help workers take advantage of opportunities for green jobs."

The State Energy Sector Partnership and Training Grants are designed to teach workers the skills required for emerging industries, including energy efficiency and renewable energy. This set of green grants is the third awarded in as many weeks by the U.S. Department of Labor. The State Energy Training Partnership grants are part of a larger Recovery Act initiative - totaling $500 million - to fund workforce development projects that promote economic growth by preparing workers for careers in the energy efficiency industries.

"This grant is the result of the engagement of clean energy businesses, organized labor and state and regional clean energy and workforce partners to design a statewide approach that prepares Massachusetts residents for green jobs," said Nancy Snyder, President of Commonwealth Corporation, a quasi-public workforce agency that will be managing the grant. "This partnership builds on relationships and investments made in green jobs training through the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund and in partnership with the Clean Energy Center.

"These grants will provide clean energy companies with the well-trained and skilled workforce they need to succeed, and help position Massachusetts as a leader in the national clean energy industry," said Pat Cloney, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (CEC), the quasi-public agency which serves as a clearinghouse and support center for the clean energy sector and co-facilitated the application for today's grant.

Investments to help get unemployed individuals back to work are critical components of Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, which combines state, federal and, where possible, private efforts to provide immediate and long-term relief and position the Commonwealth for recovery in the following ways:

 

  • Deliver immediate relief by investing in the road, bridge and rail projects that put people to work today and providing safety net services that sustain people who are especially vulnerable during an economic crisis;

 

  • Build a better tomorrow through education and infrastructure investments that strengthen our economic competitiveness, prepare workers for the jobs of the future and support clean energy, broadband and technology projects that cut costs while growing the economy; and

 

  • Reform state government by eliminating the pension and ethics loopholes that discredit the work of government and revitalize the transportation networks that have suffered from decades of neglect and inaction.

 

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