Lincoln, Pryor, Berry Announce New $500 Million Grant Program to Train Workers for Green Jobs

Lincoln, Pryor, Berry Announce New $500 Million Grant Program to Train Workers for Green Jobs

Washington – U.S. Senators Blanche L. Lincoln and Mark Pryor and Representative Marion Berry joined U.S. Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis, today to announce a new $500 million green jobs initiative that will help prepare workers for jobs in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries.

Secretary Solis announced the new grant program during a visit to Mid-South Community College in West Memphis.  Mid-South Community College is home to a world class Workforce Technology Center and is a grantee of the Department of Labor’s Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) program.

“I am pleased that Secretary Solis chose Mid-South Community College as a venue to announce this important new program,” said Lincoln.  “As we look to get our economy back on its feet, energy initiatives, such as this, will play a vital role in creating green jobs in Arkansas, stimulating our economy, and strengthening our national security.  With our strength in agriculture and diversity of renewable energy sources, Arkansas has a great opportunity to benefit from our country’s transition to a new energy economy.”

“Investing in green will get us out of the red. Arkansas, with its abundance of alternative energy resources, has the opportunity to be at the forefront of the green energy revolution.   This initiative will help create good-paying jobs in Arkansas, grow our state’s economy, and bring America one step closer to becoming energy independent,” Pryor said.

“Now more than ever, job training programs operated at the local level with the help of federal funding are playing a larger role in our economic recovery,” said Berry.  “Mid-South Community College has an outstanding reputation of helping to train workers for new careers and provides excellent resources for individuals seeking to learn the skills required for green jobs.  Investing in a highly-skilled workforce will strengthen our rural communities and rebuild a strong middle class in our state.”

“Emerging green jobs are creating opportunities for workers to enter careers that offer good wages and pathways to long term job growth and prosperity,” said Secretary Solis.  “Workers receiving training through projects funded by these competitions will be at the forefront as our nation transforms the way we generate electricity, manufacture products and do business across a wide range of industries.”

At today’s event, Secretary Solis discussed the creation of five solicitations for grant applications (SGAs).  Four of the competitions are designed to serve workers in need of training through various national, state and community outlets:  Energy Training Partnership Grants; Pathways Out of Poverty Grants; State Energy Sector Partnership and Training Grants; and Green Capacity Building Grants.

The fifth competition, for State Labor Market Information Improvement Grants, will fund state workforce agencies that will collect, analyze and disseminate labor market information and develop labor exchange infrastructure to direct individuals to careers in green industries.  Detailed information on grant opportunities can be found in each SGA.

Grants awarded through this competition will be funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  In an effort to earn the maximum return on each investment, the Labor Department is encouraging grantees funded through these competitions to align their work with other federal agencies’ Recovery Act investments intended to create jobs and promote economic growth.  Programs funded through these SGAs will be conducted in partnership with the public workforce system in order to prepare workers to enter careers in targeted industries.

A notice of these SGAs is available at and  Dates and times for applicant virtual conferences are found in each SGA.  For more information on the array of Department of Labor employment and training investments and opportunities, visit