Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis recently announced a green jobs training grant of $4.8 million to the Austin, Texas, Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC). The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) will partner with Austin, Texas-based ImagineSolar and Austin Workforce Investment Board to provide training to meet immediate needs at solar power plants in Austin and San Antonio and to support capacity-building in Arizona, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, and Texas, including Bexar County, Texas.

"This announcement is part of the administration’s long-term commitment to fostering both immediate economic revitalization and a clean energy future," says Secretary Solis. "It's an investment that will help American workers succeed while doing good. Our outstanding award recipients were selected because their proposed projects will connect workers to career pathways in green industries and occupations through critical, diverse partnerships."

The grant is part of nearly $100 million in green jobs training grants, as authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to 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 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 Labor’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, requiring labor and business to work together.

Training activities funded through this grant program will be individually tailored based on occupations and skills identified as in-demand in local areas around the country. Training programs will seek to prepare workers for a range of careers including: hybrid/electric auto technicians, weatherization specialists, wind and energy auditors, and solar panel installers.