Manufacturing Savvy

$38 Million for Green Jobs Doesn't Sound Like Enough to Me

Six organizations across the country will receive a total of $38 million from the Department of Labor, to expand green job training.

A group called Jobs for the Future, a nonprofit education and workforce development organization, will use its training expertise to help workers in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

Programs will include training in repair and maintenance of alternative fuel vehicles, machine operation for green manufacturing, and green construction.

In Boston, there is a need for skilled automotive specialty technicians (ASTs), especially hybrid technicians, due to growing local sales of hybrid-electric vehicles.

In Chicago, the "re-shoring" by manufacturing firms in South Cook County, plus a major new federal grant that will boost manufacturing capacity, is driving a need for computer numerical control (CNC) machinists in small and large fabricated metal manufacturing employers.

In Detroit it's the green construction market that is growing. The need is for jobs in remodeling, framing, siding, and other building skills. This sector is expected to grow 8.7% over the next five years.

In Milwaukee the need is also for replacement automotive specialty technicians as alternative fuel vehicles are added to local employer fleets.

In Philly, it's the solar sector that is growing. Due to the Smart Energy Initiative of Southeastern PA additional jobs will be created over the next three years including in solar installation and sales.

Seattle will need new and replacement jobs for electricians. A recent Washington State Green Economy Jobs report indicates that electricians rank as the second largest green occupation with 3,784 jobs; 8% of the total green workforce.

Washington, D.C. will see a 4% growth in the construction industry over the next five years. This will require retraining existing workers in green technologies, specifically weatherization and insulation, green roof maintenance, solar panel installation, green building maintenance, green cement masonry, and helper and apprentice positions with 17 construction unions.

While this all great news and encouraging, doesn't seem like a lot of money to me.

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