Labor Department Provides $55 Million in Green Jobs Grants

Funds target training initiatives for minorities and other underserved groups

The U.S. Labor Department issued $55 million in green jobs grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to various state, county and local workforce development agencies to train workers and help them find jobs in expanding green industries and related occupations, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said on Nov. 18.

The Labor Department issued State Labor Market Information Improvement Grants and Green Capacity Building Grants, which will be administered by the department'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, according to the Labor Department.

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, multistate or national impact, the Labor Department said.

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," Solis said. "It's an investment that will help American workers do well while doing good. "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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