Murray Announces King County Green Job Training Grant

Jan 13 2010

Recovery Act grant will help hundreds of workers get the training and skills they need to succeed in the growing clean energy economy

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County has been awarded $3,639,530 to train local workers in clean-energy industries. This award is among the $147 million awarded nationally by the U.S. Department of Labor through the Energy Training Partnership grant awards authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and announced today by U.S Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.
The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County will use this grant to fund their GreenLight Project, which will partner with the South Seattle Community College Georgetown Campus (SSCC) to provide green economy education and training services to 450 program participants. Of those who complete the training and educational components of the proposed initiative, 365 will be placed into unsubsidized employment.

King County workers can visit the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County’s website to learn more about this program and other workforce training opportunities.

“This grant will help ensure that as we continue to invest in clean energy technology that will create jobs and boost the economy, workers in Washington state have the skills and training they need to succeed,” said Senator Patty Murray. “Washington state is at the forefront of the growing clean energy industry, and these grants will help keep our workforce strong and successful in the 21st Century economy.”

"We are thrilled that this important project has been funded," said Marléna Sessions, CEO of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County. "We sought these funds to ensure that people in poverty are not left behind as 'green jobs' become available. By training people in skills that will be needed by employers, this is a victory for both our community and our economy."

“These ‘Pathways Out of Poverty’ grants will help workers in disadvantaged communities gain access to the good, safe and prosperous jobs of the 21st Century green economy,” said U.S Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.  “Green jobs present tremendous opportunities for people who have the core skills and competencies needed in such well-paying and rapidly growing industries as energy efficiency and renewable energy.” 

The GreenLight Project will connect target groups with short?term introduction green courses and safety certifications for Green Construction, Manufacturing, and Weatherization Industries. The introduction to green courses offered at South Seattle Community College Georgetown Campus (SSCC) will utilize curriculum in renewable energy conservation, weatherization, building management, recycling, and deconstruction to provide base level exposure and safety certifications needed for careers in the targeted industries. Additional in?depth training will be provided through three long?term training initiatives including the Seattle Vocational Institute/Pre?apprenticeship construction training program, the Green Modular Manufacturing Project, and the Green Manufacturing Employment Program.

As chairman of the Employment and Workplace Safety subcommittee and a senior member of the committee overseeing funding for job training and the energy industry, Senator Murray worked to ensure that investments in clean-energy workforce training were included in the Recovery Act.  Senator Murray voted to pass the Recovery Act on February 13th. The bill was signed into law by President Obama on February 17th.