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Sec. Hilda Solis Headshot

Green Jobs: A Down Payment on the Workforce of Tomorrow

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Over the last year, the Obama Administration has been focused on many issues, none more important than creating jobs. We are working hard to sustain economic growth and spur renewed hiring for millions of Americans who need and want work, but cannot find it.

As I have said from day one, my goal is "A Good Job for Everyone." A good job is one that can support a family by increasing incomes and narrowing the wage gap. A good job is safe and secure, and gives people a voice in the workplace. A good job is sustainable and innovative -- like green jobs -- that export products not paychecks. And a good job is one that will help to rebuild the middle class.

In this economy that's a tall order, however I am more confident than ever that we will reach this goal because of the steps we have taken and the investments we have made in the American worker.

Just weeks after taking office, President Obama signed the historic Recovery Act and this Administration has taken bold steps to break the back of this recession. The Department of Labor moved quickly to protect workers who lost their jobs and provided new worker training opportunities for those looking to upgrade their skills.

And as we help workers through these challenging times, our real focus is investing in their future and today I announced nearly $100 million in green jobs training grants. These grants are part of a larger Recovery Act initiative -- totaling $500 million -- to fund workforce development projects promoting economic growth by preparing workers for careers in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries.

In addition, some $28 million of today's funds will support projects in communities impacted by the restructuring of the auto industry.

Twenty-five projects across the country will receive grants ranging from $1.4 to $5 million each and are built on strategic partnerships requiring labor and business to work together.

This investment will help American workers succeed while laying the foundation for our country's long-term competitiveness by preparing workers for a range of careers including: hybrid/electric auto technicians, weatherization specialists, wind and energy auditors, and solar panel installers.

Without a doubt the Recovery Act is helping to pull our economy back from the brink and the Department of Labor is working tirelessly to ensure that we fulfill our responsibility to provide workers with the assistance they need today to plan for the careers of tomorrow and to help them find good jobs. A good job for everyone has been my goal from day one and it will continue to be in 2010.

We still have work to do before we can be sure that all Americans have access to good jobs, but I am confident that we will reach that goal. By working together with our partners, we can turn our economy around and create pathways to success for all of Americans.

For more about our green jobs initiatives, visit www.dol.gov/green.

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