Wednesday, January 13, 2010

US Department of Labor announces $150 million in 'Pathways Out of Poverty' training grants for green jobs

Goodwill Industries is on the list to receive a grant for green job training.

/PRNewswire/ -- Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced $150 million in green jobs training grants, as authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). The "Pathways Out of Poverty" grants -- as the group of funding awards is known -- will support programs that help disadvantaged populations find ways out of poverty and into economic self-sufficiency through employment in energy efficiency and renewable energy industries.

"These Pathways Out of Poverty grants will help workers in disadvantaged communities gain access to the good, safe and prosperous jobs of the 21st century green economy," said Secretary Solis. "Green jobs present tremendous opportunities for people who have the core skills and competencies needed in such well-paying and rapidly growing industries as energy efficiency and renewable energy."

Through the 38 grants awards announced today, targeted populations will receive recruitment and referral services; basic skills, work-readiness and occupational skills training; supportive services to help overcome barriers to employment; and other services at times and locations that are easily accessible. Through these programs, participants will receive certifications and on-the-job training that will lead to employment.

In order to serve the specific populations targeted by these grants effectively, the Department of Labor encouraged applicants to focus project efforts in communities located within one or more contiguous Public Micro Data Areas (PUMAs) where poverty rates were 15 percent or higher. PUMAs are geographic areas designated by the U.S. Census Bureau. All applicants were required to have experience serving economically disadvantaged populations. Programs funded today will serve unemployed individuals, high school dropouts, and other disadvantaged individuals within areas of high poverty.

There are two types of award recipients for these grants: 1) national nonprofit entities with networks of local affiliates, coalition members or other established partners; and 2) local entities including nonprofit organizations, such as community and faith-based organizations, the public workforce investment system, the education and training community, labor organizations, and employer and industry-related organizations.

Today's 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. For a full listing of the grants and project descriptions, visit To view a video by Secretary Solis, visit The U.S. Department of Labor expects to release funding for one remaining green grant award category over the next several weeks.

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