Biden Announces Green Jobs Training Program

By CityTownInfo.com Staff
May 27, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden and two Cabinet secretaries unveiled a national program on Tuesday in Denver, Colorado, which aims to train unemployed workers for green jobs using stimulus dollars.

The plan was announced at a town hall-style meeting of President Obama's Task Force on the Middle Class entitled "Building a Strong Middle Class Through a Green Economy." The meeting, which was attended by Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, took place at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Solis remarked that $500 million will be distributed as grants for training workers in green jobs such as manufacturing wind turbines, insulating homes or installing rooftop solar panels. Of that money, $50 million will be designated for manufacturing communities hit hardest by the auto industry decline.

"This has energy--no pun intended," said Biden, who was quoted in Colorado's The Durango Herald. "This has energy to it. These are real, live jobs." He added that the stimulus bill will create 450,000 such jobs.

Biden has been touring the country since Congress passed the stimulus package, publicizing its benefits to the American workforce and answering questions about how the money will be spent.

"Our goal. . .is to make sure that every American who aspires to the middle class can get there, and stay there when they get there," said Biden, who was quoted in The Denver Post.

The Denver Daily News reports that Peter Groff, who recently became the director of faith-based and community initiatives for the U.S. Department of Education, noted at the meeting that community colleges will be essential for training workers in green jobs.

Brook Taylor, who has been out of work for two months and recently began taking classes on photovoltaic solar panels at Red Rocks Community College, told The Denver Post that the vice president's announcement gave her hope.

"I'm encouraged by the fact they have so much money going into renewable-energy jobs," she said. "I'm glad that I started training already, but I need a job right now."

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