* Summary of Amendment *
The amendment would strike section 277 of the Senate substitute for H.R. 6 (workforce training) and replace it with detailed language to create an energy efficiency and renewable energy worker training program.
(a) Purpose - The amendment would create a sustainable, comprehensive public program that:
provides quality training for jobs created through renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives; satisfies industry demand for a skilled workforce; provides grants for safety, health and skills training; funds national and State research, labor market information, and labor exchange programs; and develops national and State training programs.
(b) Grant Program
(1) In General - Within 6 months of enactment, the Secretary of Labor ("the Secretary"), in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, shall establish an energy efficiency and renewable energy worker train program.
(2) Eligibility - Target populations for services include workers who are: Veterans, including reservists, of the Armed Forces; affected by national energy or environmental polices; displaced by economic globalization; seeking pathways out of poverty and into economic self-sufficiency; formerly incarcerated, adjudicated, non-violent offenders; and individuals in need of updated training. Eligible industries include the energy-efficient building, construction, and retrofits industry; the renewable electric power industry; the energy efficient and advanced drive train vehicle industry; the bio-fuels industry; and the deconstruction and materials use industries.
(1) National Research Program - The Secretary shall support national research on labor market data and workforce trends in the renewable energy sector. This research is intended to help develop standards and curricula needed for effective training in the renewable energy field, and will be used to support collaboration with State agencies, industry, labor, and community non-profit organizations in the delivery of labor market services and worker training.
(2) National Energy Training Partnership - National Energy Training Partnerships Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis to eligible entities that deliver training through programs that are national in their scope. Language is included that will assure these grants are awarded in a way that assures geographic diversity. Entities eligible for grants are non-profit partnerships that include equal participation of industry and labor. The amendment also encourages the development of partnerships with other organizations such as community-based organizations, educational institutions, small businesses, cooperatives, State and local veterans agencies, and veterans service organizations. Activities to be carried out may include the provision of: occupational skills; safety and health training; the provision of basic skills; individual referral and tuition assistance for community college training; the provision of customized training in conjunction with an existing apprenticeship program or labor-management partnership; and the implementation of transitional job strategies.
(3) State Labor Market Research, Information, and Labor Exchange Research
Program - The Secretary shall award competitive grants to States to administer labor
market and labor exchange information programs. Eligible activities include grants
for State agencies administering the Wagner-Peyser Act or to State unemployment
(4) State Energy Training Partnership Program - Grants shall be awarded competitively to States for the administration of renewable energy and energy efficiency workforce development programs. State Energy Sector Partnerships shall consist of non-profit partnerships that include equal participation from industry and labor. The amendment also encourages the development of partnerships with other organizations such as community groups, Veterans Service Organizations, small business associations, worker investment agency one-stop career centers, and post-secondary institutions. Priority is given to States that demonstrate linkages of grant activities with: meeting national and state policies associated with energy efficiency, renewable energy, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Activities to be carried out may include the provision of: occupational skills; safety and health training; the provision of basic skills; individual referral and tuition assistance for community college training; the provision of customized training in conjunction with an existing apprenticeship program or labor-management partnership; the implementation of transitional job strategies.
(d) Worker Protections and Nondiscrimination Requirements
(1) Application of WIA - The worker protection and nondiscrimination provisions of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 will apply to this program.
(2) Consultation with Labor Organizations - A labor organization representing a
substantial number of workers who are engaged in work or training similar to that
proposed to be funded under this Act shall be provided an opportunity to be consulted
and to submit comments in regard to such a proposal.
(e) Authorization of Appropriations - The Amendment authorizes $100,000,000. Not more than 20
percent of the amount appropriated shall be available for national and State labor market information and research. The remainder shall be equally divided between the National and State energy training partnership grants.
(f) Definition - "Renewable electric power" has the meaning given the term "renewable energy" has the meaning given the term "renewable energy" in sec. 203(b)(2) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
The amendment is supported by a diverse array of renewable energy, labor, trade, environmental, and other groups: Apollo Alliance, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), Wider Opportunities for Women,Union of Concerned Scientists, AFL-CIO, National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO), Sierra Club, Alliance to Save Energy (ASE), Solar Energy Industries Association, Clean Water Action, American Wind Energy Association, Earthjustice, American Solar Energy Society, American Council for An Energy Efficient Economy (ASCEE), Public Citizen, Center for American Progress Action Fund, and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).