“These job training funds will expand our skilled clean energy work force and help cement Washington state’s leadership position in our nation’s emerging clean energy industry,” Cantwell said. “The funding awarded today recognizes our commitment to making clean energy a major job creator, while improving our environment and lowering consumer energy costs. Clean energy will be the largest industry of the 21st century. My efforts in Washington, DC are aimed at ensuring that Washington state and the U.S. continue to lead the world in inventing and manufacturing these technologies. Clean energy job training is essential to realizing this goal.”
The grant announcements by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis mark the third of five grant awards totaling $500 million for green job training funding included at Cantwell’s urging in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Together, the grants affecting Washington state are projected to train nearly 8,000 participants. They will lead to the development of training curricula for 22 nationally recognized skill certificates. The grant of $3.88 million goes toward the Sound Energy Efficiency Development (SEED) program, which provides training and job placement assistance in energy efficiency assessment occupations. The SEED program will be implemented through a regional partnership of employers, labor organizations, and community and technical colleges based in five Washington counties. The $4.6 million grant goes to King County and counties in four other states to provide skills training in new and emerging green occupations in the healthcare industry. The third grant totaling $5 million is going to Oregon and three counties in Washington state to build a skilled workforce to support companies that generate power.
Among other clean energy wins for Washington state, Cantwell has led efforts to invest in technologies that will upgrade the nation’s electricity grid, authoring the smart grid title of the 2007 Energy Bill. She helped secure $88 million for the landmark Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Project, creating jobs and providing Washington state consumers with a stronger, more reliable grid that will reduce overall energy costs. Senator Cantwell also recently introduced a groundbreaking and bipartisan climate bill, the Carbon Limits and Energy for America’s Renewal (CLEAR) Act, which achieves real greenhouse gas emission reductions while catalyzing job growth in clean energy technologies.
DOL Secretary Solis is discussing the Washington state green job training grants this evening during a press teleconference from 5:45 to 6:15 p.m. EST. Remarks by Solis are to be followed by a Q&A session. Media planning to call in are requested to notify the Labor Department’s Office of Public Affairs at 202-693-4676.
For more information on each of the three Washington state grants, please see the following documents: