The Connecticut Congressional delegation today announced a $5.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to train unemployed and underemployed Connecticut workers for jobs in the green construction industry. The grant will support efforts to not only train workers but also help fund job placement and comprehensive career development.
"The grants announced today are an important part of the administration's efforts to ensure workers have the skills they need to compete and succeed in emerging green industry jobs. More importantly, these grants are smart investments in the people of Connecticut, helping to prepare them for the green energy jobs of today and the green energy economy of the future," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.
Local employment agencies will use the grant to fund the Bridgeport, Bristol, Hartford, New Britain, New Haven, and New London, Waterbury arms of the Connecticut Green Jobs Funnel Initiative (CGJFI), which will prepare lower-skill workers for introduction to the green construction industry. The program will provide a comprehensive range of services, including basic skills remediation, life skills workshops, green skills certification and trade-specific technical skills training, job placement support, case management, and retention services.
"At a time when our state is facing 9.1 percent unemployment this grant focuses on the most important issue facing America today: jobs," Congressman John Larson (CT-1) said. "This funding will go a long way in ensuring that Connecticut is prepared to be a leader in the industries that will help shape the future of our country. I am very grateful to the Obama Administration and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis for this fantastic grant and congratulate the Connecticut State Department of Labor and their partners for their work in putting in a superb application."
"This grant will help Connecticut men and women to develop skills that are in need and to find jobs in our state, and save our citizens money through reduced energy costs. It is critical that we make smart, targeted investments in workforce training and green energy jobs, and I was disappointed to see all funding for green jobs eliminated in the 2011 budget," Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3). "I think this is the wrong direction for our country, and I will fight to get some of this funding restored for 2012. Investing in our workforce, and in green and renewable energy jobs, will pay real dividends for our state and will help to forge a strong and lasting economic recovery for our entire nation."
"As we continue our economic recovery, this grant provides a major boost to the struggling building trades sector and trains more workers for major infrastructure projects in the future," said Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2). "This type of investment will make a difference in New London and across Connecticut, ensuring that workers have the support and skills they need to remain on the cutting edge of the workforce."
"The emerging green jobs sector is the economic opportunity of our generation," Murphy said. "By investing in our workforce we can ensure that green manufacturing jobs stay in Connecticut and put people back to work."
"We have to do everything we can to end the nation's jobs crisis. Individuals willing to work deserve the dignity and hope that a good job provides, and we all benefit from the stronger economy that results from people working and spending the money they earn." Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) said. "This grant combines the right training, the work, and the right long-term vision to help make Bridgeport and its citizens leaders in the clean energy economy."