Braley Introduces Legislation to Invest in Clean Energy Jobs

Feb 3, 2010
New Era Expansion Act will invest in clean energy job training

Washington, DC - Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Waterloo)
introduced legislation today to authorize the Secretary of Labor to invest in
clean energy job training at Iowa's community colleges. The New Era Expansion
Act would build on the success of Braley's New Era Act of 2007, which
established a recurring grant program at the US Department of Agriculture to
provide grants to community colleges and advanced training facilities that train
the next generation of agricultural-based energy
professionals.

 

"Investing
in clean energy job training is an important step to preparing Iowa's workforce
for the 21st Century economy," Braley said. "In this difficult
economic climate, legislation like this is key to generating job opportunities
for Iowa's middle class families.

 

"The New
Era Expansion Act allows Iowa to continue to lead the way in clean energy
production by creating a workforce education program in clean energy
technology.  This bill is an important step toward equipping our state's
workforce with the skills they need to fill clean energy production and
manufacturing jobs that are being created throughout Iowa and the Midwest."

 

The New Era
Expansion Act would authorize the Secretary of Labor to award grants to
community colleges so they can establish a grant program for community colleges
to start wind energy and energy efficient construction workforce training
programs.
 

 

Under the
bill, the Department of Labor would be charged with overseeing the
implementation and scope of the training program.  Funding for the program would
be determined through Congressional appropriations to the Department of Labor to
satisfy the demand for and requirements of the program.

 

In his
recent budget, President Obama requested $85 million for the Department of Labor
to prepare more than 120,000 workers for work in the clean energy sector by June
of 2012.

 

In the
first year of the original New Era program, Braley was able to secure $276,318
in two-year grants from the New Era Rural Technology Competitive Grant Program
for Eastern Iowa Community College and Hawkeye Community
College.