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Hirono announces $6M to provide training for green jobs


Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono has announced the awarding of $6 million in U.S. Department of Labor State Energy Sector Partnership and Training Grants funding to help develop Hawaii’s green industries by providing workers with cutting-edge training in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and biofuels.

“This $6 million grant will be put to good use, training some 1,400 people in Hawaii to work in clean energy jobs,” Hirono said. “These are the kinds of jobs that will help Hawaii become more energy self-sufficient.”

These grants are designed to provide workers with the skills needed for emerging energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. Program participants will receive the technical and occupational skills necessary to obtain industry-recognized credentials.

The number of grants awarded nationwide amounts to $190 million of the $500 million in Green Jobs training grant funding made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Hirono voted in favor of ARRA on Feb. 13, 2009. President Barack Obama signed it into law four days later.

A projected 1,391 participants in Hawaii are expected to complete education and training activities and attain either certificates or licenses in green occupations.

The grantee, Hawaii Department of Labor Industrial Relations, will develop curricula and training programs with opportunities to obtain certificates and/or degrees in Home Energy Rating System (HERS), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Solar Photovoltaic Installation, Biofuels Processing, and Power Plant Operation.

Funding will be allocated to the following entities:

* Hawaii’s One-Stop Career Centers, to focus on providing services to dislocated workers and veterans.

* Catholic Charities and Goodwill Industries of Hawaii, which will provide recruiting, training, placement and retention services to target populations.

* The University of Hawaii Community College system, to provide case management, recruiting, training, placement, and retention services to populations that have not traditionally utilized the State’s One-Stop Career Centers.

Thirty-four awards ranging from approximately $2 million to $6 million each have been made to state workforce investment boards in partnership with their state workforce agencies, local workforce investment boards or regional consortia of boards, and One-Stop Career Center delivery systems.

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