State Receives $5.8 Million Training Grant for Green Jobs


BALTIMORE (1/22/10) -- Alexander M. Sanchez, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR), announced that the Maryland Energy Sector Partnership, led by the Governor's Workforce Investment Board (GWIB), has been awarded a $5.8 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration to implement programs that will prepare more than 1,500 Marylanders for green jobs in manufacturing, construction, environmental technology and solar energy.

"In Maryland we have set a goal of creating at least 100,000 green jobs by 2015, and we are working across our State government - along with partners in organized labor, and in the private, academic, and non-profit sectors - to implement specific action items that are designed to create new jobs, advance eco-friendly technologies, and provide more Marylanders with the skills they need to participate and maximize the benefits of a green economy for their own families," Governor Martin O'Malley said. "This federal funding not only represents an important step forward towards this goal for Maryland's families, but it also demonstrates the progressive strategy the Obama Administration is taking towards creating jobs for the next generation economy."

The project will involve partnerships among businesses, community colleges, labor apprenticeship programs and the One-Stop Workforce System. It will implement training for both new and incumbent workers to ensure there is a pipeline of skilled workers for jobs in the emerging green economy. Emphasis will be placed on providing opportunities for veterans and reservists, low wage workers and ex-offenders to meet the demands of Maryland employers.

"This grant provides us with a tremendous opportunity to help reach our goal of increasing skills of Maryland workers 20 percent by 2012," Secretary Sanchez said. "It is a much deserved recognition of the O'Malley-Brown Administration's commitment to strengthening and growing the middle class, and shows that "Smart, Green and Growing" will offer real opportunities for Marylanders in the 21st century economy."

The funding will be divided into four consortium efforts:

  • Baltimore Regional Green Tech Workers Program. This effort will improve manufacturing sustainability practices, waste stream management and "lean to green" practices in the manufacturing sector. This project will train 705 incumbent and new workers in two tracks - the Green Worker Training Program for new, entry-level manufacturing positions, and Purdue University's Green Workforce Training Certificate program for incumbent workers with intermediate skills. The program will offer three levels of certification provide through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and M-Tech programs at the University of Maryland, working with local community colleges.
  • Green Training for Energy Efficient Advancement. This partnership of workforce boards, community colleges, building and trades organization and labor unions will train 850 workers to retrofit residential, commercial and industrial buildings. This project will meet the need for skilled green construction and trades workers expected to be needed in the Baltimore-Washington region to meet demands for work resulting from investments funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), building related to the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program, and increased energy initiatives of major utilities to comply with the Empower Maryland legislation.
  • Chesapeake Area Consortium for Higher Education (CACHE): Institute for Environmental Careers. This partnership of workforce investment boards, four community colleges and leaders from the private sector and governments in counties surrounding the Chesapeake Bay will train 210 students with community college credit courses leading to certificates in environmental technology. It is designed to help workers take advantage of the environmental technology careers that are projected to grow around the Bay.
  • Go Solar! Regional Partnership. This business-driven consortium will utilize existing renewable energy curriculum, mostly from the Institute for Environmental Careers' existing courses. IBEW Local 26 and IEC-Chesapeake will act as entry-level service providers. They will collaborate with Goodwill Industries, Job Corps, correctional facilities and existing businesses to train 480 new and incumbent workers.

"We are projecting that at least 70 percent of the Marylanders trained through these programs will be placed into a related job within the three-year grant period," said Eric M. Seleznow, GWIB Executive Director. "These programs also address an immediate need to help dislocated workers, particularly those in jobs that will never come back, to obtain the new skills they need to re-enter the workforce and participate in the new green economy."

This latest grant follows a $4 million grant awarded by USDOL in November to the MidAtlantic Regional Collaboration (MARC) Green Consortium, headed by DLLR's Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning, to define the regional green economy and develop a workforce investment plan to support it. That consortium includes the Virginia Employment Commission, the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services, the District of Columbia's Workforce Investment Council, the Maryland Governor's Workforce Investment Board and the Virginia Workforce Council.