January 20, 2010

NM House Delegation Announces Recovery Funding for Clean Energy Workforce Training

January 20, 2009

Washington, DC – Members of the New Mexico Congressional Delegation announced today that the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions has been awarded $5,999,989 by the Department of Labor. The grant, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s Green Jobs Training Program, aims to establish a statewide, systemic approach to worker training in energy efficiency and renewable energy occupations that is responsive to employer and worker needs.

“The best way to support our economy is by getting southern New Mexicans back to work,” said Representative Harry Teague. “Creating a statewide jobs program dedicated to renewable energy skills will not only improve the skills of hundreds of people across the area, but also keep New Mexico as a leader in energy research production. I applaud the Department of Labor for their efforts in helping bring these grants to New Mexico.

“New Mexico continues to capitalize on the fast-growing industry of clean, home-grown energy. But clean energy companies need more than sun and wind—they need skilled people who can harness that energy and bring it to households and businesses,” said Representative Martin Heinrich. “This grant will help job seekers more easily connect with green job banks and help to ensure that workers find employment after completing training.”

"During these difficult economic times, we have to work doubly hard to train new workers and prepare them for good paying jobs," said Representative Luján. "This Recovery Act funding will help many New Mexicans get job training at a time when they--and our communities--need it the most."

The new system will be adjustable and responsive to economic developments and efficient in delivering just-in-time training to reduce unemployment. The project, which will target members of underserved communities, including veterans, military spouses, women and at-risk youths, aims to train approximately 400 participants and place 360 in targeted industries. This grant is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) to preserve and create jobs, promote the nation’s economic recovery, and assist those most impacted by the recession.