Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Alicia Barton today announced $924,233 in grants that will fund six clean energy job training programs for low and moderate-income individuals across the Commonwealth.
As part of the Pathways out of Poverty program, these grants will fund for green collar job training offered by clean energy companies, community-based nonprofit groups, educational institutions and labor organizations throughout Massachusetts.
“There programs will connect low- and moderate-income workers with an expanding clean energy industry in need of well-trained employees,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan, who serves as the chairman of MassCEC’s board of directors. “Workers will learn valuable clean energy skills, while putting themselves on the road to economic self-sufficiency.”
"The clean energy industry employs 72,000 workers in Massachusetts and continues to grow,” said Barton. “These programs will match the unemployed or underemployed with the training programs needed to join this booming sector.”
Four of the projects will target workers in Worcester, New Bedford, Pittsfield, Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, which are all designated by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development as Gateway Cities.
"By investing in new energy technology and career education programs, we are creating new economic opportunities throughout Massachusetts," said Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. "By concentrating this program in Gateway Cities, we are generating new potential in communities that might otherwise miss out on these opportunities."
Programs receiving funding under the program are:
Boston – Jewish Vocational Services – $250,000 – Jewish Vocational Service (JVS), in partnership with Ben Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT) and Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC), will build new pathways from JVS’ college transition program for adult learners, Bridges to College & Careers, into college-credit level courses in clean energy and science technology engineering and math (STEM) fields.
Berkshire County – Berkshire Community College – $81,188 – Berkshire Community College (BCC) will offer transitional programming to connect higher education for low-income disconnected youth, as well as unemployed and dislocated workers with the Berkshire County employers who need workers skilled in clean energy and green technologies.
New Bedford – New Bedford Economic Development Council – $250,000 – The Bridge to Greener Futures project will provide motivated, low-income, disconnected youth with academic, occupational and life skills that lead to college and careers in clean energy with an emphasis on offshore wind. MassCEC is currently overseeing the construction of the nation’s first marine commerce terminal in New Bedford equipped to serve as a staging area for offshore wind projects.
Statewide – Co-Op Power – $181,045 – Co-op Power’s Good Green Jobs training program will train individuals from Gateway Cities and Economic Target Areas in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Greater Boston for entry-level positions as weatherization installers, providing the workers mentors and on-the-job training with employers.
Worcester – Worcester Youth Center – $112,000 – STEMming the Opportunity Gap (SOG) is a three-phase program partnership between the Worcester Youth Center (WYC), Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) and the Central Mass Workforce Investment Board (CMWIIB). The year-long program will engage out of school, unemployed or underemployed youth ages 16 to 24 who meet low-income requirements, introducing them to clean energy concepts and putting them on the path towards higher education in the field.
Cape Cod – Northeast Offshore Renewable Energy Training Program – Self Reliance Corporation – $50,000 – The Northeast Offshore Renewable Energy Training Program will implement the WindSkill BZEE curriculum, which will train workers looking for employment in the burgeoning offshore wind industry. The program will include training at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, internships and hands-on experience.
Authorized by the Act Relative to Clean Energy signed into law by Governor Patrick in November 2009, MassCEC’s Pathways out of Poverty program is designed to jumpstart training in clean energy careers for low- and moderate-income residents. Eligible projects must include on-the-job-training models or bridge-to-college programs that serve the target population and provide services and activities to address employer workforce needs and optimize opportunities for participant learning, career development and economic advancement within the clean energy industry. Projects must assure that individuals will improve their economic circumstances as a result of participation in the program.