Swanson’s “Green Jobs” Training Bill Advances

SandreSwanson.jpgAssembly Labor & Employment Chairman Sandré R. Swanson has introduced AB 2147 to establish the Green Jobs Corps Grant Program to implement an energy efficiency and renewable energy worker training program for individuals seeking employment pathways out of poverty into economic self-sufficiency.
“We have a tremendous opportunity in California for job growth in the ‘green’ economy,” stated Swanson. “However, we need to match up that opportunity with those members of our communities most in need of jobs, including at-risk youth and formerly incarcerated individuals. That is why I believe this bill is so important.”
The Program will be administered by the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, which will develop application procedures and criteria to award $500,000 in grants to community-based organizations, local agencies, and service providers (or partnerships thereof).
Grants will be funded with State and Federal workforce development and job training funds, and/or funds allocated for rehabilitation and treatment of prison inmates and parolees. Monies will be awarded to fund programs in urban, suburban, and rural areas of northern, central and southern California.
“This is an opportunity to invest in our communities that we cannot afford to pass up,” said Swanson. “The choice is simple. We can do nothing and continue to pay $46,000 a year to incarcerate individuals who have no hope of a future. Or we can invest a modest sum in green jobs training programs to help these individuals be self-sufficient and contributing members of society,” Swanson concluded.
The bill has already passed the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment earlier this month on a 6-1 vote. It is now waiting to be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. A hearing date has not yet been set.