On Day Two of Clean Energy Week, Secretaries Locke and Solis Travel to Michigan, Tennessee and Arkansas to Discuss Clean Energy Initiatives

Solis announces $500 million in grants to train workers for green jobs


WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, on the second day of Clean Energy Week, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis traveled to Michigan, Tennessee and Arkansas to discuss clean energy initiatives and highlight the President’s commitment to sign comprehensive energy and climate legislation. In Memphis, following a tour of the Sharp Solar facility, Secretary Solis announced five grant competitions, totaling $500 million, to fund projects to train workers for green jobs in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries.


Grants awarded through these competitions will be funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Four of the grant competitions Solis announced today will provide funding to train workers through 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, for State Labor Market Information Improvement Grants, will fund state workforce agencies that will help direct individuals to careers in green industries.


“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 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.”


In Memphis, Solis also made a stop at HOPE VI public housing and then traveled to West Memphis, Arkansas to visit the Arkansas Delta Wired Grant program at the Mid-South Community College campus and tour the Workforce Technology Center, a facility that provides green jobs training.


In the Detroit area, Secretary Locke held a town hall at the United Solar Ovonic manufacturing plant. He was joined by workers and local business owners to discuss the challenges they face and the administration’s efforts to help them meet those challenges.


"We are committed to revitalizing American manufacturing and a big part of how we do that is building solar panels, wind turbines and advanced batteries," Locke said. "The Commerce Department will directly assist the small and medium-size businesses across America that are at the vanguard of America’s renewable energy future."


Today, the White House also released a video featuring Council on Environmental Quality Special Adviser for Green Jobs Van Jones visiting a weatherization project and discussing green jobs for a green future. Watch the video here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/


Other events happening during Clean Energy Week include:


Thursday, June 25



Department of Housing and Urban Development

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan will attend the Green Building and Energy Efficient Development Conference in Washington, D.C., to discuss incentives for green construction practices and technologies.


2:00pm ET

Washington Plaza Hotel; The Federal Room; 10 Thomas Circle NW

Washington, D.C.



Department of Energy

Energy Secretary Steven Chu will visit San Francisco to discuss Recovery Act funding for clean energy projects during speech to the Edison Electric Institute Annual Convention.


2:45pm PT

San Francisco Marriot; 55 Fourth Street

San Francisco, CA