(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and U.S Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announced that the Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board will be receiving $5,973,635 to train Washington state workers in high demand occupations needed for energy efficiency in commercial and public buildings. These awards are among the $190 million awarded nationally through the State Energy Sector Partnership and Training grant awards authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
This grant will help train and place approximately 4,731 dislocated workers, veterans, at‐risk youth, low‐income adults, and individuals with disabilities. Participants may earn certificates in energy management, commercial energy auditing, residential energy auditing, commercial light auditing, and photovoltaic installation and design.
“This grant will help close to five thousand Washington state workers get the skills and training they need to succeed in the growing clean-energy industry,” said Senator Patty Murray. “Washington state is a national leader in the clean-energy sector and this grant will help ensure that our workforce remains strong and able to fill the jobs of the 21st century economy.”
“The grant will help Washington state workers gain access to good jobs, while supporting the sort of statewide energy efficiency strategies that play a crucial role in building the green economy of the 21st century,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.
The Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board will implement training and job placement assistance for targeted populations in high demand occupations needed for energy efficiency in commercial and public buildings. The grantee will utilize regional Navigators to provide training‐related retention services. Washington State’s Veterans Conservation Corp and Helmets for Hardhats will conduct outreach to and recruitment of veterans.
The project will mobilize postsecondary investments in education and training in energy and energy efficiency to improve the K‐12 pipeline of green skilled workers. The grantee will survey the green labor market bi‐annually to measure employment and training trends.
As chairman of the Employment and Workplace Safety subcommittee and a senior member of the committee overseeing funding for job training, Senator Murray worked to ensure that investments in clean-energy workforce training were included in the Recovery Act. Senator Murray voted to pass the Recovery Act on February 13th. The bill was signed into law by President Obama on February 17th.