January 13, 2010

Wyden, Merkley Announce $4 Million for Renewable Energy Job Training

Recovery Act Funding Will Offer Job Training/Placement for Those in High Poverty Areas

Washington, D.C. - In keeping with efforts to boost employment and to position Oregon as a renewable energy industry leader, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D- Ore.) announced today that Oregon will receive $4 million in grants to provide renewable energy job training for the unemployed living at or below the poverty level. The Pathway Out of Poverty grant is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will give many workers the new skills and training and provide employment, helping Oregon build its renewable energy industry.

"This grant will help train deserving folks right here in Oregon to work in our growing renewable energy industries," Wyden said. "In turn, that will help encourage more renewable energy companies to relocate to Oregon knowing that a skilled workforce will be ready to fill the jobs they bring."

"This is a great opportunity to give folks the training and skills to find employment in the emerging clean energy industry," said Merkley. "This will be a stepping stone for so many Oregonians who are trying to find a path to a good paying job so they can better provide for their families and save money for their children's future."

Released by the Department of Labor as part of the ARRA, Pathway Out of Poverty grants allow unemployed individuals in areas of high poverty to secure careers in the renewable energy industry through job training and eventual job placement. These grants can be used for enrollment at local community colleges, through organized labor training programs and industry-recognized training providers. Roughly 360 individuals will benefit from this particular grant. They will be trained for positions in