Beyond Basic: Training Veterans for Careers in the Clean Energy Economy
No one pays a higher price for our freedom than our nation’s veterans. They deserve our support long after they return from the fields of battle. Unfortunately, many of these brave men and women struggle with the process of re-adapting to civilian life, and they have difficulty reentering the very workforce they left behind to fight for our freedom.
This administration has made a number of investments to stabilize and strengthen the growing economy. As Secretary of Labor, I’m extremely proud to support our veterans -- young and old -- by providing the job training and re-employment assistance they need and deserve. As a part of this process it is crucial to highlight the opportunities and possibilities in the growing renewable energy economy.
Earlier today I was pleased to announce $9 million in grants to provide veterans with green jobs training. As a result of these grants an estimated 4,000 veterans will receive invaluable individual job counseling, classroom or on-the-job training, placement assistance and other crucial follow-up services is a number of growing green industries.
This effort is part of our Veterans’ Workforce Investment Program (VWIP) aimed at helping Veterans from targeted groups overcome employment barriers. These grants will provide additional resources related to: energy-efficient building, construction, and retrofit; renewable electric power; energy efficient and advanced drive train vehicles; bio-fuels; deconstruction and materials use; energy efficiency assessment; and manufacturers that produce sustainable products using environmentally sustainable processes and materials.
Green industries allow us to invest in the manufacturing sector so we are exporting products — not paychecks. In addition, these new investments mean encouraging and, at the same time demanding, innovative partnerships.
The grants announced today are showcasing partnerships and opportunities for collaboration with Veterans services provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), as well as employment services provided by thousands of local One-Stop Career Centers around the country.
Green jobs can help re-start our economy and put Americans--especially our Veterans--back to work.
A full list of the grant winners, along with additional employment resources for Veterans is available on our Veterans' Employment & Training Service website at www.dol.gov/vets.
Hilda Solis is the Secretary of Labor.