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The Federal Green Jobs Act of 2007

The growing California "green" and clean tech economy make reference to the need for more "green" collar jobs.

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The author states that many recent studies by labor organizations, academics, state agencies and environmental groups that have analyzed the growing California "green" and clean tech economy make reference to the need for more "green" collar jobs. Although several state, local, federal, private and non-governmental organizations focus on this issue, there is no coordinated and comprehensive administrative infrastructure to facilitate the efforts of these organizations.

The Green Jobs Act of 2007 - Federal

The Green Jobs Act of 2007 authorized $125 million per year to create the "Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Worker Training Program" as an amendment to the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The Green Jobs Act (Act) is an initial pilot program to identify needed skills, develop training programs, and train workers for jobs in a range of industries - including energy efficient building, construction and retrofits, renewable electric power, energy efficient vehicles, biofuels, and manufacturing that produces sustainable products and uses sustainable processes and materials. It targets a broad range of populations for eligibility, but has a special focus on creating "green pathways out of poverty."

Title X of the Energy Independence and Security Act (often referred to as the "2007 Energy Bill")

The Green Jobs Act became Title X of the Energy Independence and Security Act (often referred to as the "2007 Energy Bill"), which Congress passed and the President signed in late 2007. The Program will be administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in consultation with the Department of Energy.

While funds were authorized for the Act, they have not yet been appropriated by Congress. By most estimates, this means that funding will have to be secured in the next appropriations cycle (which will not be completed until late 2008). It is therefore possible that funds may not be available until at least 2009. The Act authorizes spending for five related green job programs.

The programs within the Green Jobs Act are as follows:

1 National Research Program (10 percent of total appropriation) - The Department of Labor (DOL), acting through the Bureau of Labor Statistics, will collect and analyze the labor market data necessary to track workforce trends and identify the types of skills and green jobs we need to train people for. The DOL will use this information to provide technical assistance and capacity building to the training partnerships described below. 10 percent of the amount appropriated will be dedicated to this program ($12.5 million if fully funded).

2)National Energy Training Partnership Grants (30 percent) - DOL will award competitive grants to non-profit partnerships to carry out training that leads to economic self-sufficiency and to develop an energy efficiency and renewable energy industries workforce. The partnerships must include the equal participation of industry and labor, and may include related stakeholders like local workforce investments boards, educational institutions, and community-based organizations. 30 percent of the amount appropriated will be dedicated to these grants ($37.5 million if fully funded).

3)State Labor Market Research, Information, and Labor Exchange Research Program (10 percent) - DOL will award competitive grants to states to administer labor market and labor exchange information programs, in coordination with the one-stop delivery system. Activities will also include the identification of job openings; the administration of skill and aptitude testing; and counseling, case management, and job referrals.

4)State Energy Training Partnership Program (30 percent) - DOL will award competitive grants to states to enable them to administer, via the state agency that administers their employment service and unemployment insurance programs, renewable energy and energy efficiency workforce development programs. It will award grants to partnerships that essentially mirror the national partnerships in their make-up.

5)Pathways Out Of Poverty Demonstration Program (20 percent) - DOL will award competitive grants to training partnerships that serve individuals under 200% of the federal poverty line or a locally defined self-sufficiency standard. The partnerships must include community-based organizations, educational institutions, industry, and labor; demonstrate experience implementing training programs and recruit and support participants to the successful completion of training; and coordinate activities with the WIA system.

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More information on green jobs programs is found at info.sen.ca.gov



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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