Workforce Investment Board Seeks Employer Input On Green Job Training Needs

The Workforce Investment Board of Herkimer, Madison and Oneida Counties is surveying local employers throughout the region as part of its effort to secure federal Recovery Act funding that can train area residents for green jobs.

WIB Chair Robin O’Brien said, “The green economy is not one segment of the economy, but it is parts of many segments and many employers. Our goal is to find out from out employers all across the region what they need in terms of skills and training so that as we assemble upcoming grant applications, we are focusing our efforts in the areas where employers have the greatest needs.”
 
WIB Executive Director Alice Savino said green jobs are those defined as those expected to grow due to the green economy, those with new skill requirements due to the green economy, or new types of positions being created in response to the green economy.  Using green techniques in construction; installing or maintaining photovoltaic cells or windmills; making parts, vehicles or products that use renewable energy all can be considered jobs that have green skills needs.
 
Savino said the survey is available on line at working-solutions.org by clicking on the “Survey: Recovery Act Grant Application” link.
 
Savino said the Recovery Act has set aside $500 million for competitive grants to fund green jobs training programs, and that the region will be seeking funding later this year. “Based on our initial research, we are working to develop a project that can build a Green Jobs Pipeline that not only deals with basic academic skills in math and reading, and basic interpersonal skills such as teamwork, but also higher-end technical and job-specific skills that can help employers in the areas of renewable energy, construction and manufacturing,” Savino said. “Our region’s colleges, BOCES and other training providers are developing a comprehensive, collaborative approach to training. Our nest step is to align our efforts with the needs of employers, which is why we want and need their participation in this brief, on-line survey.”