Green jobs for veterans
Why drill to create new jobs when you can spend money teaching former veterans to work in the renewable energy sector? That is the idea behind the US Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service who have announced a US$2 million grant, under the Veterans' Workforce Investment Program (VWIP), to "assist eligible veterans by providing employment, training, support services, credentialing and networking information in renewable energy and other green jobs."
According to RenewableEnergyWorld.com, the grant will be given to workforce development projects that " focus on connecting target populations to career pathways and training programs that will prepare veterans for careers in any of the seven energy efficiency and renewable energy industry categories defined in the Workforce Investment Act."
Secretary Hilda L. Solis said, "We have an obligation to our service men and women to do everything we can to help them transition smoothly into civilian life."
"These grants will not only help our veterans, they will provide an invaluable service to a burgeoning part of our economy. Veterans deserve good jobs, and green jobs are good jobs."
America has been actively increasing its renewable energy sector, despite recent news that President Obama would allow offshore drilling. The American Wind Energy Association, for example, reported that they have seen massive growth in wind installations around the US and that 10,000 megawatts of wind power was installed across the country last year.
Total electricity generated by wind power now stands at 35,000 MW - or 1.8 percent of the total amount of electricity generated for the country.
All of the US's endeavours, including offshore drilling, has not just been about promoting a more sustainable source of energy and power, but more critically (in the government's eyes) reducing US dependence on foreign oil.
However, President Obama has been forcefully promoting renewable energy sources and greater fuel efficiency in the hope that an "energy economy" will create millions of jobs. This could be the first step.
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