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Obama Visits Union Apprenticeship Training For Good Jobs Today

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As I write this, President Obama is visiting a union apprenticeship facility to see firsthand union training for green jobs.

Last week Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis told Utility Workers Union President Mike Langford that his union had been selected to receive a $5 million grant to train workers for green energy jobs.

Responding to the award, Langford said: "This grant is an affirmation of our union's commitment to ensure that the next generation of utility workers includes everyone and that green jobs are good union jobs. We're rolling up our sleeves to get people back to work."

But the grant also reflects the commitment of the Utility Workers to new forms of energy generation and sustainable and renewable forms of energy.

Green energy is critical to our environment. But if done right, green energy development can also be a huge boost to our economy. The Utility Workers know that the future demands that we invest in sustainable and renewable energy.

Building and creating the infrastructure for renewable energy and its generation can create good, middle class producing jobs that will provide a real stimulus to our economy.

All this is why the Utility Workers are actively pushing for investment in renewable energy and using their apprenticeship programs to train their members and others to do the work. We are working with employers, public agencies, and community organizations to implement the Green Skills = Green Jobs project to provide safety, technical and green skills training to displaced workers, young people, under-employed adults with an emphasis on the recruitment of women and people of color.

We at the Utility Workers Union are also working with environmentalists and other unions through the BlueGreen Alliance to mobilize for public policy and legislation to support and encourage renewable and sustainable energy development. We know it is the future for all of us.

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