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Coalition wins green jobs grant

Thursday, October 17, 2019 by Tai Moses

A partnership of the Austin carpenters union, the career-training and education group American YouthWorks and several local employers has won a $50,000 grant to train low-income young people for careers in the green energy construction industry, particularly solar installation. The grant, from the city’s Equitable Green Jobs Grant Program, is a joint project of the Economic Development Department and the Innovation, Equity and Sustainability offices. In a press release, Jason Engels, executive secretary-treasurer of the Central South Carpenters Regional Council, said, “There is a bright future and direct path to the middle class through green, union jobs, and we embrace the critical role we play in training a future workforce that will pioneer a green economy in Austin. We want to ensure that no one is left behind as we help Austin transition towards cleaner energy.” Parc Smith, CEO of American YouthWorks, said, “We are enthusiastic about the potential to provide young people with training in solar installation as a catalyst to broader exposure in the trades, and the promise of placement in the green building and construction industry.” According to the release, “The project will provide 36 young people, ages 18-24, the opportunity to receive training and certifications to become professionals in the renewable energy sector. Recruitment will focus on young men and women of color presently residing in low-income Austin neighborhoods, District 4, and especially those within the ZIP codes of 78744, 78441 and 78745.”

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