Connecticut Joins Northeast Consortium to Develop ‘Green Job Bank’ – August 18, 2009 — Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that she has directed the state Department of Labor to work with seven other Northeast states to seek a $3.9 million federal stimulus grant that will help expand the number of “green collar” jobs available in Connecticut and throughout New England, New York and New Jersey.

“I am proud to say that Connecticut has long been a leader in growing green collar jobs,” Governor Rell said. “We have a strong history of support for increased use of solar panels and other alternative energy sources, energy efficiency and weatherization programs and other environmentally friendly strategies. At the same time we have worked to bolster the available training for the green collar work force of the future. These stimulus dollars will be a major boost for these efforts.

“The green economy offers great promise in creating new jobs and careers for Connecticut residents,” the Governor said. “The key to making the most of these opportunities lies in understanding what skills they will require and where those skills can be learned and mastered.”

At the Governor’s direction, the state Department of Labor has partnered with neighboring states to pursue the federal Labor Department funding to help job seekers as well as high school and college graduates better understand what skills and competencies are required for careers in the emerging green economy.

“Working with the other New England states, New York and New Jersey, Connecticut will join a regional effort to better define green industries and identify jobs for the entire Northeast,” Governor Rell said. “We can then pinpoint the skills needed to fill those jobs and establish the necessary educational requirements or certifications.”

The consortium will work together over an 18-month period, the Governor said. The group also plans to develop automated tools that will highlight green job opportunities available in the region as well as in each participating state.

“Under an Executive Order I issued in February, Connecticut agencies and organizations have made good progress in defining green jobs and determining what a green economy will look like,” Governor Rell noted. “This work has positioned us well to responding to competitive federal grant opportunities such as this one.”

In addition, the state is aggressively pursuing grants in the areas of renewable and sustainable energy, environmental quality and remediation – all with an eye toward increasing opportunities for green jobs and careers in the state.

Under the guidelines of the grant, Connecticut will work in with Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont as well as three strategic partners: the Conference Board; the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce; and a collaboration between the DirectEmployers Association, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies and the National Labor Exchange.

Connecticut will lead the development of a regional Web site that will enable individuals, employers and educators to review the consortium’s work. The site will provide users with the types of training that will be needed. Working with the National JobCentral Labor Exchange, efforts will be directed toward introducing an electronic “Green Job Bank” that would include current green employment listings.

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