On September 21, 2009, the DOE issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (“FOA”) for $100 million in funding from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to support workforce training for the smart grid and electricity transmission sectors. The FOA supports two primary workforce training strategies:
· $35 -$40 million to develop training programs to achieve a national, clean energy smart grid. This funding will be open to a range of applicants, including utilities, colleges and universities, trade schools, and labor organizations.
· $60-$65 million to conduct workforce training programs for new hires and retraining programs for electric utility workers and electrical equipment manufacturers to educate them in smart grid technologies.
U.S. Dept of Labor announced five grant competitions this week, totaling US $500 million, to fund projects out of Recovery funds that prepare workers for green jobs in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. Four of the competitions are designed to serve workers in need of training through various national, state and community outlets. These include Energy Training Partnership Grants, Pathways Out of Poverty Grants, State Energy Sector Partnership and Green Capacity Building Grants. The fifth competition, for State Labor Market Information Improvement Grants, will fund state workforce agencies that will collect, analyze and disseminate labor market information and develop labor exchange infrastructure to direct individuals to careers in green industries. See: link to DOL page: http://www.doleta.gov/grants/find_grants.cfm
Check out our recent client alert on President-elect Obama's selection of California congresswoman Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary, which we believe highlights the significance the incoming administration is placing on clean renewable energy and the contributing role of green jobs. Also highlighted in our client alert is the efforts of several states, including Minnesota, California and Oregon, to promote green jobs. In Minnesota, Governor Tim Pawlenty recently announced a "Green Jobs Investment Initiative" that includes several proposals for the 2009 Minnesota Legislature, including a Green JOBZ Program, Job Growth and Small Business Investment Tax Credits, and Biomethane and Solar Power Conservation Credits. Stay tuned!