January 06, 2010

Wyden, Merkley Announce $5 Million for Renewable Energy Job Training

Energy Training Partnership Grants Will Provide New and Existing Workers Training in Renewable Energy Industry

Washington, D.C.-. Continuing efforts to position Oregon as a leader in the renewable energy industry, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D- Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D- Ore.) announced today that Oregon will receive $5 million in grants to provide training for workers in renewable energy industries.

"The renewable energy industry will mean many new jobs in Oregon and this funding will help workers meet the needs of that industry," Wyden said. "Not only will it help workers improve and update their skills, it will help Oregon continue to build a renewable energy workforce that can rival any other state in attracting businesses and creating jobs."

"If we want clean energy jobs in Oregon, we need a clean energy workforce ready to fill them," Merkley said. "This investment in our workers will bolster Oregon's reputation as a world leader in the next great growth industry and pave the way for job creation for years to come."

Known as Oregon Energy Partnership Grants, the funding released today by the U.S. Department of Labor will help to fund training for more than 1,600 Oregonians, helping them to become a part of the burgeoning renewable energy industry and improving the ability for Oregon to continue to be a green jobs leader and innovator. The grants, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will analyze the technical workforce skills and production requirements for potential suppliers in green industries and provide industry-specific training for Oregon workers. The grants will also help existing workers retool their skills in order to meet the demand for highly skilled renewable energy workers. This will help unemployed and dislocated workers train for jobs in the renewable energy industry and will provide added attraction for businesses to locate in Oregon.