SUMMIT COUNTY - Unemployed construction workers in Summit County and elsewhere in Colorado will have new opportunities to learn to build green.
U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis last week announced nearly $100 million in green jobs training grants, $3.6 million of which will go to Colorado. The grants
will support job-training programs to help working and unemployed Coloradans find jobs in the green-building and renewable
Congressman Jared Polis, who represents Summit County, said clean-energy jobs have already proven to be a good job creator, and that's one of the reasons Colorado's unemployment rate is below the national average. Polis said the funds could help workers in Summit and Eagle counties who have been affected by the slowdown in construction.
The grants are part of the $787 billion economic stimulus approved last year and will help autoworkers and others hard hit by the recession.
Solis said the program is "part of the administration's long-term commitment to fostering both immediate economic revitalization and a clean-energy future."
Colorado's portion of
the funds will pay for a program called "Green Careers for
Colorado," which will provide training and certification opportunities in electrical work, electrical and power-line installation and repair, wind and energy auditing, and solar photovoltaic installation. The trainings will allow workers to upgrade existing certifications in those areas, take part in apprenticeships, or obtain basic skills trainings.
Green Careers for Colorado proposes to train 1,913 workers in the state and place 80 percent of them into jobs.
"Our goal must be a clean-energy future that works for all Americans, so that we can pass on to future generations, not just a stronger economy, but also a cleaner, healthier and sustainable planet," Solis said.