Governor Crist Announces Additional $12.4 Million in Green Jobs Grants (01/22/2010)

For Immediate Release 
January 22, 2010

(850) 488-5394

Governor Crist Announces Additional $12.4 Million in Green Jobs Grants

More than $12 million in Recovery Act grants to benefit low-income communities~

TALLAHASSEE Governor Charlie Crist today announced the award of $12.4 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants to Boley Centers Inc., Florida State College at Jacksonville, Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America Inc., and Workforce Connection.  The grants, known collectively as Pathways Out of Poverty, support programs that help disadvantaged areas find ways out of poverty by providing training and creating jobs in energy efficient and renewable energy industries. Approximately 2,500 Floridians are expected to receive training through these grants.

“The Pathways Out of Poverty grants empower Floridians to rise above economic challenges,” said Governor Crist. “I am grateful to the award recipients for having the vision to create opportunities for Floridians in need of work, while at the same time growing Florida’s renewable energy industry.”

Florida Pathways Out of Poverty Grants

  • Broward County – Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America Inc. (OICA), which received a $4.9 million grant, will coordinate with local partners to train 1,350 people in six green occupations including weatherization technician/installer, solar/PV systems installer and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Associate.  OICA expects to place approximately 1,066 job participants.

  • Duval County – Florida State College at Jacksonville received a $2.2 million award to offer basic skills education and specialized job training in energy efficient building construction and retrofit, renewable electric power and energy efficient assessment to 390 participants. Of that number, 332 are expected to complete training and 282 are expected to be placed in jobs.

  • Marion County – Workforce Connection, serving Citrus, Levy and Marion Counties, will use its $3 million grant to implement the West Ocala Green Jobs Project, which will prepare 665 disadvantaged residents of West Ocala for certification and employment in green jobs.  Of those participants, 556 who complete education and training will be placed into jobs. This creates 150 new jobs and promotes small business development.

  • Pinellas County – Boley Centers Inc. will use its $2.3 million grant to train 150 disadvantaged and unemployed youth in green occupations. Participants will take part in remedial education/GED courses, technology training and certification in electricity and plumbing, and entrepreneurship training.  Approximately 125 are expected to be placed in jobs following training.
 “The Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation applauds the grantees, including our workforce partner, Workforce Connection, for securing funding that will provide many opportunities for Floridians to learn new skills and find jobs in one of Florida’s important growth industries,” said AWI Director Cynthia R. Lorenzo. “These cooperative projects to train and place Floridians into employment are vital to our efforts to build up our communities and help reinvigorate Florida’s economy.”

The U.S. Department of Labor required all applicants to have experience serving economically disadvantaged populations. A total of 38 Pathways Out of Poverty grants were awarded, ranging from approximately $1 million to $8 million. The grants are part of $500 million available through the Recovery Act to fund workforce development projects that promote economic growth by preparing workers for careers in energy efficiency industries.

Last week, Governor Crist announced the award of a $3.2 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant to the Broward County Minority Builders Coalition, which will use the funding to train 1,000 workers in technologies that improve energy efficiency. The coalition, which includes Workforce One of Broward County, will train and place workers in occupations involving design and installation of solar energy panels and systems, weatherization of buildings and LEED certification.

For more information on Florida’s Pathways Out of Poverty grants, interested jobs seekers may contact:

Boley Centers Inc.
Miriam Williams
(727) 821-4819

Florida State College at Jacksonville
Dr. Edythe Abdullah
(904) 632-5094

Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America Inc.
Newton Sanon
(954) 535-2100

Workforce Connection

Margaret Spontak
(352) 873-7991
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