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Connecticut Job Focus Goes Green

Posted on August 18, 2009

The idea of creating “green collar” jobs has been catching on throughout the country. Now the federal government could use the push on going green to help create positions for those looking for a Connecticut job.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell recently announced that the state Department of Labor will work with seven other Northeast states to try to secure $3.9 million in federal stimulus money to help expand the number of green collar jobs in Connecticut, New England, New York and New Jersey.

The funding from the federal Department of Labor is meant to help job seekers and recent high school and college graduates better understand what skills and competencies are required for careers in the green collar industry. The group of states will work together during an 18-month period in order to develop automated tools to highlight green job opportunities in the region and in each participating state.

Connecticut will work with Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont, as well as the Conference Board, the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, and a collaboration between the Direct Employer Association, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies and the National Labor Exchange.

Connecticut also will lead the development of a regional Web site that will allow individuals, employers and educators to review the group’s work. The site will provide users with the types of training that will be needed. Working with the National JobCentral Labor Exchange, efforts will be directed toward introducing an electronic “Green Job Bank” that would include current green employment listings.

“I am proud to say that Connecticut has long been a leader in growing green collar jobs,” Rell said. “We have a strong history of support for increased use of solar panels and other alternative energy sources, energy efficiency and weatherization programs and other environmentally friendly strategies. At the same time we have worked to bolster the available training for the green collar work force of the future. These stimulus dollars will be a major boost for these efforts.

“The green economy offers great promise in creating new jobs and careers for Connecticut residents,” she continued. “The key to making the most of these opportunities lies in understanding what skills they will require and where those skills can be learned and mastered.”

Connecticut also is aggressively pursuing grants for renewable and sustainable energy, environmental quality and remediation in hopes of further increasing opportunities for green jobs throughout the state.