News Releases

Senator Murray Announces $500 Million Now Available to Train Workers for Clean Energy Jobs

Jun 30 2009

Washington state community colleges, workforce boards, labor groups, and businesses can now apply for millions in federal funding to train workers to help jumpstart state's green economy

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA),Chairman of the Senate HELP Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee, announced that $500 million that she included for green and clean energy job training in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) is now available to train workers in Washington state and across the nation. The funding is available via five different green job training programs by applying to the federal government. The grants, which will be one of the most critical tools in building a green workforce, are expected to be applied for by community colleges, workforce boards, labor groups, businesses partnering with other local groups and more.

“Our state is well positioned to take the lead in our country’s clean energy future,” said Senator Murray. “But we need trained workers to get the ball rolling. I know that local community colleges, workforce boards, labor groups and businesses in Washington are eager to access this funding. It will help them provide the skills and training our unemployed workers need to get back into the workforce and give the next generation  the skills they’ll need for 21st Century careers. This is seed money for family-wage jobs and economic growth in our state.”

As Chairman of the Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee and a recognized leader on worker training, Senator Murray guided the grants to inclusion in the Recovery Act. The grants are based on the Retooling America’s Workers for a Green Economy Act, introduced by Senator Murray prior to the Recovery Act earlier this year.

Four of the grant programs are designed to train workers through national, state and community outlets.

  • $100 million is available for the Energy Training Partnership to directly train and place workers in green jobs.
  • $150 million is available for the Pathways Out of Poverty program, will be spent to provide training programs for “target populations” to help them prepare for and get green jobs.
  • $190 million is available under the State Energy Sector Partnerships and Training program. This program will be used to form and implement comprehensive, statewide energy sector strategies.
  • $5 million is available for training programs to provide entry-level training for “targeted groups” that will lead to career pathways in green industries.

The fifth competition grant, for State Labor Market Information Improvement, will fund state work force agencies to collect, analyze and disseminate labor market information.

Groups interested in applying for these grants should apply to:

Senator Murray voted to pass the Recovery Act on February 13th. The bill was signed into law by President Obama on February 17th.