Calif. Leverages Stimulus for Workforce Training Program

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the creation of the Clean Energy Workforce Training Program (CEWTP), a $75 million investment establishing the nation's largest state-sponsored green jobs training program.

The program uses federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, public-private partnerships and state and local funding, to train more than 20,000 new or re-skilled clean energy workers to build a workforce capable of performing the jobs necessary to meet the state's goals of renewable energy development, climate change reduction, clean transportation and green building construction for a new green economy. Schwarzenegger said: "This program is critical because it will target unemployed, underemployed and new members of the workforce at a time when we must do everything possible to help Californians return to work. With the nation's largest state-sponsored green jobs training program, California is paving the way for a new economic foundation for the 21st century, showing once again that what benefits the environment also benefits the economy."

The CEWTP targets populations of

  • Unemployed workers, particularly from the construction sector,
  • Existing workers requiring re-skilling to prepare for clean energy industry,
  • Low-wage workers and youth preparing to enter the workforce.
It will support regional workforce training programs at community colleges or workforce investment boards and partnership academies in high schools that deliver training on professional and personal skills development for energy efficiency, water efficiency, renewable energy and clean transportation. This will prepare individuals for jobs as solar installers, sustainable landscapers and water systems designers and green building designers, among other professions.

California is leveraging $20 million in Recovery Act funds along with $15 million from the CEC's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, $12 million from the Public Interest Energy Research Program, $5 million in EDD Workforce Investment Act funds and over $23 million in public-private partnership matching funds to invest in the $75 million comprehensive program that will train clean energy workers and educate thousands of students about the opportunities in the clean energy sector.

The first solicitation for proposals from this program was released Aug. 6. Regional training partnerships can apply for $46 million in regional workforce development programs: $23 million in Recovery Act and state funding and $23 million in matching funds from public-private partnerships. Proposals are due Sept. 16. Information about the solicitation process is available on the CEC's Green Jobs Web site.

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