Funding will Grow Iowa's 'Green' Workforce

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced that $5,997,000 will be coming to Iowa Workforce Development to train people for jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy industries.  This Department of Labor State Energy Sector Partnership and Training Grant will help dislocated workers, unemployed individuals and incumbent workers learn the technical and occupational skills necessary to obtain industry recognized credentials.

"Iowa has one of the best workforces in the nation and it is important that we continue to do all we can to keep and improve our state's competitive advantages.  The green energy sector is creating good jobs in Iowa and today's funding will teach people the skills necessary to be a part of this growing industry," said Harkin.  "In addition to creating jobs, the renewable energy sector is bringing down energy costs, reducing our dangerous reliance on foreign fuels and helping prevent global climate change."

"The State Energy Sector Partnership and Training Grants will help 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.

According to the Department of Labor, the Iowa Energy Sector Partnership will use this funding to implement a state? driven green workforce development plan with prioritized training needs, as identified by the State Green Jobs task force.  The project will develop a statewide sector plan for the emerging energy economy that will focus on sustainable jobs in the energy sector and train workers with portable skills.  Training will be provided for both new and incumbent workers.

Today's funding comes through the Department of Labor and was authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  Nationwide, 34 similar grants were announced today, with Iowa receiving close to the maximum any state could receive under this award. Harkin secured these funds through his role as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, which wrote the Recovery Act.