|WIB to Receive Funds to Help Area Workers Train for Green Jobs|
The Boone & Winnebago Counties Workforce Investment Board is expected to receive $735-thousand as part of the state's winning application for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) dollars to help boost efforts to train Illinoisans for green jobs.
Illinois received State Energy Sector Partnership (SESP) funds totaling $6 million to support energy efficiency and wind and solar based renewable energy projects that offer immediate job creation opportunities.
Illinois' winning application also focused on training newly unemployed workers in the manufacturing and construction industries with skills and experiences that can be applied to new energy sector jobs, and incumbent workers who need skill upgrades related to energy efficiency to maintain or advance in their careers. Funding will also be used to enhance opportunities for veterans, minority contractors and those seeking pathways out of poverty.
The grant identifies the Greater Rockford Area Solar Initiative, designed to help local residents train for new solar-energy jobs and build Rockford's renewable energy reputation. The project will provide 140 dislocated and unemployed individuals with opportunities for Green Energy career certification and other training through Rock Valley College in preparation for jobs associated with Wanxiang America Corporation.
In March 2009, Wanxiang unveiled plans to establish a high-tech, solar panel manufacturing facility in Rockford, Illinois. The Wanxiang project is expected to create 60 new jobs in the solar energy industry during each annual phase of implementation, anticipated to span over 4 years. In addition, Wanxiang America will construct a solar farm in Winnebago County, as a public-private cooperative.
This grant proposes to utilize the public workforce system in the region, in partnership with education, local government and business to provide training to ensure the preparation of the local workforce to secure employment with Wanxiang, as well as preparation to enter apprenticeship opportunities for installation and maintenance related to the solar farm.
*Information provided by The Workforce Connection