Labor Department gives an additional $150 million in green jobs training grants

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On the heels ofanother green jobs announcement last week, the U.S. Labor Department awarded an additional $150 million in training grants for workers interested in energy efficiency careers.

Authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the funds are part of a $500-million green jobs initiative. This round, called the Pathways Out of Poverty grants, will be parceled out to 38 projects around the country, most based in areas where poverty rates are at least 15%.

Target populations include disadvantaged individuals -- high school dropouts, the unemployed -- as well as minorities. The grants will help develop recruitment and referral services, basic and occupational skills education and other resources.

The awards went to two types of recipients: national nonprofits with networks of affiliates and partners, and local groups including community and faith-based organizations and labor associations.

California recipients included the Los Angeles Community College District, which was awarded $4 million for communities including Watts and Willowbrook. The National Council of La Raza received more than $3 million for San Jose and San Diego, as well as Chicago.

The Northern Rural Training and Employment Consortium was granted $4 million for California areas such as Butte, Siskiyou and Shasta counties. An additional $3 million went to the West Hills Community College District, which includes areas in Fresno and Kings counties.

The Labor Department expects to award funds in one more green grant category in the following weeks.

-- Tiffany Hsu