Training for a Green Future
By Rachel Vilsack - firstname.lastname@example.org
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With green job openings expected to increase in Minnesota, employers will need a well-trained workforce to fill positions in coming years. The search for skilled workers will soon be easier for Minnesota businesses involved in green construction, manufacturing, utilities and services.
Two Minnesota programs are recruiting and training thousands of state residents in green careers.
The Renewable Energy Networks Empowering Workers (RENEW) is a collaborative project between Ramsey County, the city of Minneapolis and 12 regional employment service providers, including DEED. The Minneapolis-based program focuses on four areas: construction and deconstruction, manufacturing, building systems, and renewable energy with a focus on solar power.
Forty programs will be offered at 12 training sites around the region. Enrollment is limited to people 18 or older who live in Minneapolis or St. Paul. Participants must also meet at least one of the following criteria: unemployed, underemployed, veteran or disability status, over age 55, American Indian, limited English proficiency, criminal background or lack of a high school diploma.
For more information on RENEW, go to www.RENEWMN.com.
The second program is GreenPOWER, a project of the Blue Green Alliance Foundation, United Steelworkers and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system that received a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to develop a green manufacturing training program.
GreenPOWER will focus its training in three Minnesota regions with good potential for green manufacturing growth: the Twin Cities, the southwest and the Iron Range. Participants will receive training in manufacturing products used in energy-efficient building construction and retrofitting, renewable electric power and energy-efficient vehicles, among others.
About 2,000 workers are expected to receive GreenPOWER training over the next two years.
For more information on GreenPOWER, see www.mngreenpowertraining.org.
Both programs are federally funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.