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Grants provide for green job training

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published February 26, 2010 at 11:03 a.m.

— More than $2.5 million in grants will create centers at two state colleges to provide training for green jobs in energy efficient fields, officials announced today.

Pulaski Technical College and NorthWest Arkansas Community College will each use the funds to establish Building Training Centers of Excellence, which will offer courses for energy auditors, energy raters, weatherization workers and workers in the heating and cooling industries.

Governor Mike Beebe was expected to announce the grants at a news conference this morning at Pulaski Technical College South in Little Rock. That school will receive about $1.2 million while NWACC will get about $1.3 million.

“Arkansas has been pursuing green-energy jobs for years, and these grants will increase our available workforce in these industries,” Beebe said in a statement. “These are the types of jobs that are changing in the 21st-century economy, and we will soon have hundreds of Arkansans better prepared to pursue new opportunities in expanding career fields that embrace energy-efficiency innovations.”

The grants are being administered by the Arkansas Energy Office and were provided by the U.S. Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Up to 600 participants including licensed builders, licensed HVAC technicians, inspectors, instructors, code officials, building inspectors, utility personnel, consultants and weatherization workers are expected to undergo training through the centers.

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