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WorkingNews

January 2010Third IssueHr

SWWDC receives $959,000 to support businesses and train workers in the renewable energy industry

Southwest Washington will share in a $5 million bi–state “green jobs” grant awarded to Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP). The award is one of 25 nationally out of a pool of nearly $100 million in green jobs training grants authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

SWWDC was among a diverse group of partners throughout the metropolitan area that came together to develop the grant, including other workforce councils, education, labor, economic development and business organizations.

Southwest Washington will receive $959,000 over two years for worker training and “lean green” assessments for local area manufacturers. These assessments, to be conducted by Impact Washington, will help manufacturers determine what they need to do to retool their production operations and up–skill their workers to increase the company’s competitiveness while also reducing environmental impacts. Clark College and Lower Columbia College will provide training in collaboration with Impact Washington.

The project—called Renewable Northwest (ReNW)—will preserve and create over 1,700 jobs in a nine–county region in the renewable energy industry (electric power and biofuels) by building a skilled workforce to support companies that generate power and by assisting local manufacturers with retraining their workforce to produce products in support of the industry. Participants will earn certificates and degrees which meet industry and state–defined standards. For more information, contact Brandi Stewart–Wood at bstewart-wood@swwdc.org.

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2009 Report to the Community now available

SWWDC and its partners assisted more than 1,000 local businesses to find skilled employees, placed thousands of adult jobseekers and laid–off workers in training and family–wage jobs, and provided work readiness training and experiences to more than 1,000 low–income youth in 2008–2009. With an influx of more than $5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, SWWDC has been able to convene community partners to rapidly deliver workforce services to those most in need.

SWWDC’s 2009 Report to the Community profiles the successes of our workforce partners.  Highlights include:

    American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
  • SWWDC received $2.2 million of funding through ARRA for a Summer Youth Employment Program which created more than 700 summer jobs at 126 different employers for 14– to 24–year–old low–income youth with barriers.
  • SWWDC received $2.7 million in ARRA funds which created more than 300 new training slots at local area community colleges and other training providers. Among the occupations in which participants are training are green–related jobs such as weatherization specialists and limited renewable energy technicians.
    Advanced Manufacturing
  • SWWDC partnered with Clark College, Lower Columbia College (LCC) and four Oregon community colleges to align and leverage educational and training resources across the region to better respond to manufacturers’ workforce needs and to streamline the training process for workers. This project was funded through a $90,000 Washington State Skill Panel grant and a $5 million federal, bi–state Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) initiative, which also brought $126,000 in training dollars for SW Washington residents and employers.
    Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
  • SWWDC and its partners received $2 million from the Department of Labor to increase the number of dislocated workers and disadvantaged youth, ages 16–24, pursing STEM careers. Other initiatives, such as High Tech U and “STEM for 9th graders” provided hands–on exposure to STEM careers for high school students.

For a copy of the report, visit www.swwdc.org or email info@swwdc.org.

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