Funding available for green jobs training

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The Department of Labor plans to release $500 million in federal grants next month for agencies prepared to give "green job training" to unemployed youths, high school dropouts and others.

The "Pathway Out of Poverty Grants" are part of $500 million in Recovery Act funds set aside for projects that prepare workers for the careers in the green economy.

The Department of Labor issued a guidance recently so interested organizations can begin to plan to do what it takes to submit a successful application.

States, public and private sector partners and state Workforce Investment Boards are all expected to play a key role in developing and executing the grant-funded projects, according to the guidance.

Successful organizations will be the ones that make sure "supportive services" are intertwined with education and training, the DOL says.

"Further, these organizations and partnerships will assist individuals in entering career pathways leading to economic self-sufficiency," the DOL guidance says.

Under the grant guidelines, two separate applicant pools will compete: national community-based and faith-based organizations with local networks, and local partnerships that include community-based organizations, education and training institutions, business and labor organizations.

The targeted populations include low-income and under-skilled workers, unemployed youth and adults, high school dropouts or other underserved populations, with priority given to areas of high poverty.

Though the grants are expected to be announced in June, the anticipated closing dates for the grants will be in late summer.