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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OPA News Release: [04/22/2010]
Contact Name: Lina Garcia
Phone Number: (202) 693-4661
Release Number: 10-0511-NAT

US Labor Department releases report on green jobs training initiatives

‘Turning Green to Gold, Safely’ campaign to collect best practices from public

WASHINGTON — This Earth Day, the U.S. Department of Labor is turning green jobs into golden opportunities safely by working with its community, labor and industry partners to prepare the workforce for high growth fields while building a greener planet. The Labor Department today released a report to demonstrate the programs being supported to promote green job growth. Additionally, the department is launching a campaign called "Turning Green to Gold, Safely" to collect stories from the public about how contributions have been made to green job creation. Entries will be submitted online at http://www.dol.gov over the next year and they will be featured in a best practices guide on Earth Day 2011.

"A changing job market and the evolving clean energy economy are creating new and exciting prospects for workers. At the U.S. Department of Labor, we will continue our efforts to ensure men and women across the nation have the tools they need to access these opportunities," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Turning green to gold — with a constant focus on safety — just makes sense. It means jobs that have livable wages, safe working conditions and worker protections."

Over the past year, the Department of Labor has launched a series of initiatives to support and promote green job creation. Highlights from today's report appear below. To view the full report, visit
http://www.dol.gov/dol/green/earthday_reportA.pdf.

Greening DOL Headquarters and Beyond — The Labor Department has signaled a challenge to "green" its buildings, including its nearly 2 million square foot headquarters, the Frances Perkins Building in Washington, D.C. The department's Job Corps programs and students are also greening the buildings on 123 Job Corps campuses nationwide.

Greening Recovery Act Funds — The Labor Department's Employment and Training Administration has awarded $490 million in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act-funded green jobs training and $227 million in health care and high growth grants, which included several grants related to clean energy.

Not Just Green, but Safe — The Labor Department's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, alongside its Employment and Training Administration, is leading a department-wide team to assist all of the agencies in coordinating their efforts to secure access to safe and sustainable green jobs for all workers.

Women and Green Jobs — In 2009, the department's Women's Bureau convened more than 30 roundtables across the country to discuss the role of women in green jobs and, as a result, developed nine green jobs training projects for women. The bureau has partnered with key groups to develop a "Women's Guide to Green Jobs" to be released this summer.

Vets and Green Jobs — In 2009, the department's Veterans Employment and Training Services issued the first training grants through its Veterans Workforce Investment Program designed to train and place veterans in green jobs and industries. The second competition of this type is now open.

Green Job Opportunities for People with Disabilities — The department's Office of Disability Employment Policy hosted a roundtable in December 2009 titled "Strategies for Including People with Disabilities in the Green Jobs Talent Pipeline." The roundtable united leaders to develop recommendations to ensure that people with disabilities have local green job opportunities.

Job Corps, Youth and Green — Building on Recovery Act funds for construction, rehabilitation, acquisition and operations, Job Corps has implemented "green" student training programs and commenced construction projects at more than 65 centers, helping to create and retain jobs. Job Corps is also conducting an Earth Day Every Day campaign from April 19 through 23 to raise environmental awareness among students nationwide.

Making Green Safe and Healthy — The department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently announced a partnership with Texas State Technical College with a focus on safety in the wind energy industry. This month, OSHA sponsored a forum around safety and health challenges posed by green jobs in the small business sector.

Sustainability and Safety in the Mine Industry — The department's Mine Safety and Health Administration is participating with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy in the Carbon Capture and Storage Interagency Task Force created by presidential order. The task force's focus is on promoting a sustainable and safe coal industry as well as opportunities for miners to transition into new jobs.

In addition to the report and the "Turning Green Jobs to Gold, Safely" campaign, Secretary Solis today participated in an interactive Web chat discussion with Job Corps students from around the country to talk about green job opportunities following the completion of their training programs.

Secretary Solis also has presented an award to a group of young program participants from the Muhlenberg Job Corps Center of Greenville, Ky. The group traveled to Washington to receive the first ever "Earth Day, Every Day" National Center Recognition Award. The Muhlenberg Job Corps won the award for best exemplifying Job Corps' Recovery Act initiatives to contribute towards "greening" its center through waste reduction and conservation practices, and training its students in green jobs programs and environmentally friendly concepts.