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Stimulus funds for Pathways Out of Poverty will bring job training and employment to disadvantaged communities

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced that the Department of Labor has awarded $147,000,000  for Pathways Out of Poverty.   The funding is contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (The Recovery Act) and seeks to reemploy individuals affected by the recent economic downturn into energy efficient and renewable energy industries.

“Ensuring that disadvantaged Pennsylvanians acquire the skills necessary to thrive in a clean energy economy is of utmost importance,” said Senator Specter. “I am pleased to see recovery funds used to bolster our job market, our communities and our environment.”

“The ‘Pathways Out of Poverty’ grants going to Pennsylvania organizations are yet another example of the way the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is positively impacting the Commonwealth and the country,” said Senator Casey. “Creating green jobs and training Pennsylvanians to work in energy efficiency and renewable energy industries should continue to be a top priority.”

According to the Department of Labor, funding for Pathways Out of Poverty will encourage job growth in disadvantaged communities by helping organizations and communities integrate training and supportive services into programs that help bring communities and individuals into economic self-sufficiency. 

“These ‘Pathways Out of Poverty’ grants will help workers in disadvantaged communities gain access to the good, safe and prosperous jobs of the 21st Century green economy,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.  “Green jobs present tremendous opportunities for people who have the core skills and competencies needed in such well-paying and rapidly growing industries as energy efficiency and renewable energy.”

The following groups and organizations were awarded funding in Pennsylvania:

•    $4,000,000 for Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board, Inc. in Allentown, PA; Funding will allow for a Customer Assistance Triage (CAT) which, in conjunction with the region’s workforce system, education community, employers, economic development, municipalities, and community-based organizations, will re-engage the hardest-to-serve young adults in the service area.  CAT will focus on high priority occupations in energy-efficient building, construction retrofit industries, renewable electric power, and energy efficiency assessment.

•    $3,184,428 for Community College of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA; Funding will allow for the implementation of two entry-level “green collar” training programs in green manufacturing and construction/weatherization.

•    $2,732,719 for Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. in Greensburg, PA; Working with the Energy-Efficient Building Industry, the Renewable Electric Power Industry and Energy Efficiency Assessment, funding will be used for programs focused on industry-specific training.

•    $1,100,000 for STRIVE in Philadelphia, PA; Funding will help train and prepare individuals for careers in green construction, solar installation, energy audits, weatherization, and lead abatement.  

•    $1,000,040 for Jobs for the Future in Philadelphia, PA; In partnership with the AFL-CIO Working for America Institute, this project will deliver expanded education, training, job placement and retention services.

This funding is part of a larger Department of Labor announcement made today that Pathways Out of Poverty has received $147 of the $500 million in Green Jobs training grant funding nationwide, made available by the Recovery Act.