Ohioans are expected to benefit from five federal grants totaling nearly $24 million that were part of $28 million worth of grants awarded Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Labor and earmarked for retraining of workers for jobs in the growing "green" energy sector.
Northwest Ohio workers are included under two grants totaling $9.8 million that were awarded to sheet metal and electrical worker union applicants.
All of the grants are part of $100 million nationwide designated for "green" job retraining of minorities, veterans, and dislocated workers affected by auto industry restructuring. The grants, provided by the federal economic stimulus act, were announced Wednesday by federal Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
Regionally, a $5 million grant was awarded to International Training Insitute for the Sheet Metal and Air Conditional Industry. The group, which has a training center in Rossford, applied to use the funds for retraining workers in seven states, including Ohio. Workers would be retrained to install energy-efficient heating and cooling products.
The Ohio Electrical Labor Management Cooperative Committee received a $4.8 million grant for retraining electrical workers throughout Ohio. It is expected to be used for teaching workers to install solar panels and other energy-efficient products.
All training and placement activities are expected to be conducted at local levels through community colleges or certified apprenticeship programs.