Colorado Establishes Green Jobs Training Initiative

June 16, 2010

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter recently signed legislation to fund initiatives around the state preparing workers for the clean energy economy. The Green Jobs Colorado Program bill, originally proposed last year by Gov. Ritter, was included in a package of sixteen clean energy related bills passed state legislature in May. Gov. Ritter believes that this package of bills will position Colorado as "a national leader in New Energy Economy."

Housed in the office of the governor, this two-year pilot program will offer grants to workforce development organizations, employers, educational institutions, apprenticeship programs and economic development organizations to develop or expand current clean-energy job training programs. Federal stimulus funds from the Recovery Act will support the $566,660 program. Sixty-seven percent of the funds will be distributed during FY 2010-11, with the remaining funding allocated during FY 2011-12. Application approval and fund distribution will occur through the newly formed Colorado Advisory Council. Programs that target entry-level or incumbent workers, low-income individuals and dislocated workers from industries in decline will receive special preference.

State Senator Gail Schwartz, one of the co-authors of the bill, noted that Colorado's clean energy sector is expected to have a significant impact on the long-term sustained growth of Colorado's economy. A skilled green workforce, however, is required to build the green economy. Senator Schwartz believes that the Green Jobs Colorado Program, and the other bills in the package, will bring Colorado "close to our goals and help position Colorado for a strong recovery with tools of the future."

Read the bill (HB10-1333) at: