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Colleges to Offer Free Green Jobs Program

CBIA Teams Up With Community Colleges to Offer Free Training Programs to Prepare Workers for New Careers in Fast-Growing Green Industries

HARTFORD — The Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA), in conjunction with three Connecticut community colleges, is offering free training programs to help workers expand their skills and knowledge and prepare them for new careers in one of the fastest-growing green industries— solar photovoltaics (PV). The program is available free of charge to eligible participants under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) federal grant.

During the month of September, six 44–hour solar PV training programs will be offered to TANF-eligible individuals. The courses will be held at Gateway Community College in North Haven, Middlesex Community College in Middletown, and Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury.

“Over the past several years, concerns about the environment and effective use of resources have led to an explosion of green processes, products, and services,” says Judith K. Resnick, CBIA’s director of workforce development and training and the executive director of CBIA’s Education Foundation. “As more investments are made in sustainable, green industries, we must have a workforce equipped with the skills to compete and succeed in this fast-growing field,” says Resnick. “This program is one step toward meeting that need.”

Eligible individuals can participate in an entry-level course and/or a technical sales program. The solar PV entry level program is designed for entry level workers or individuals working in the electrical or construction trades who would like to become solar PV installation assistants. The solar PV technical sales course is aimed at individuals with strong math and communication skills who would like to enhance their current skills or begin new careers as technical salespeople.

The program is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) TANF Emergency Contingency Fund and administered through the State of Connecticut Department of Social Services. Matching funds are provided by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund.

To be eligible for this free training, participants must have dependent children and meet TANF income eligibility and U.S. citizenship requirements. For complete eligibility guidelines, course descriptions, dates and locations, or to download application and registration materials, visit www.cbia.com/edf. A mandatory math assessment for interested students will be held the week of Aug. 23, 2010, at participating colleges. For more information, contact Deb Presbie, CBIA project consultant, at 860-244-1932 or email deb.presbie@cbia.com.

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Colleges Garner “Green Jobs” Grant

HARTFORD — The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $2 million grant to the state’s 12 community colleges to help train students for “green jobs.”

The state joins a nation-wide effort in the quest to prepare a workforce with the skills needed to enter careers in growing fields of employment.

The fund will go toward educational programs in automotive technology, clean water and energy efficient operations and renewable and alternative energy.

The core curriculum will modify existing college courses to build basic academic and technical skills within sustainable operations, according to community college officials. Occupational specialty courses will be adapted or developed by individual colleges with input from business leaders.

“Preparing students to enter Connecticut’s Knowledge Economy with the education and skills needed to succeed is a primary focus,” said Marc Herzog, chancellor of the Connecticut Community College System.

Courses will be modified or developed with input from business leaders, and a sustainable operations certificate program will be offered.

The program will also offer tuition assistance.

–Charmaine Hall

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