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Governor Doyle Announces $6 Million Recovery Grant to Train Nearly 3,000 for Clean Energy Jobs

For Immediate Release: January 20, 2010
Contact: Tony Hozeny, Department of Commerce, 608-267-9661
Laura Smith, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162
Dick Jones, Department of Workforce Development, 608-267-4780

Wisconsin Award Among Largest Federal Competitive Green Job Training Grants

MADISON - Governor Jim Doyle today announced a $6 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant to expand Wisconsin's Apprenticeship Program and train nearly 3,000 workers for clean energy jobs in building trades and manufacturing.

"Through the state's major investments and the Recovery Act, Wisconsin is making tremendous investments in our clean energy workforce," Governor Doyle said. "With this grant, we will train almost 3,000 workers for family-supporting, clean-energy jobs that will grow our economy and help us become energy independent. And we will do it with one of our most effective training programs."

The Recovery Act grant will fund state-wide clean energy job training for targeted groups through the Department of Workforce Development, including veterans, dislocated workers affected by auto industry restructuring, and others who are unemployed or underemployed and need additional skills. Incumbent workers will also be assisted through targeted occupational training in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Wisconsin's nation-leading Apprenticeship Program will be expanded to include apprenticeships as weatherization technicians, energy auditors and wastewater treatment plant operators. The project will also improve training in existing apprenticeships, including those for sheet metal workers, steamfitters, construction electricians, electric line workers and substation electricians, among others.

Under the goals of the Sector Alliance for the Green Economics project, approximately 2,950 workers will complete training and receive a certificate or degree, and more than 2,500 will be placed in training-related jobs. The grant was one of 34 national awards, ranging from approximately $2 million to $6 million, that the U.S. Department of Labor distributed as Recovery Act competitive grants for green job training.

Governor Doyle thanked the Obama Administration for their continued investment in Wisconsin's workforce and economy through the Recovery Act. According to the White House Council of Economic Advisors, over the last nine months, 44,000 jobs have been created or retained in the state through the Recovery Act.

Earlier this month, Governor Doyle launched the Clean Energy Jobs Act, a landmark legislative package to accelerate the state's green economy and create jobs. The package calls for updating renewable portfolio standards to generate 25 percent of Wisconsin's fuel from renewable sources by 2025 and sets a realistic goal of a 2 percent annual reduction in energy consumption by 2015. A comprehensive economic assessment of the package found that it would directly create at least 15,000 green jobs in Wisconsin by 2025.