More good news! Just one week after learning that we will receive funding from a $5 million "Green Jobs" grant, we have now been awarded a $4 million “Pathways out of Poverty” grant. Only 38 applications were funded nationally.
This grant will fund skill training and provide culturally specific support to help disadvantaged populations find ways out of poverty and into economic self-sufficiency through careers in energy-efficient building, construction and retrofit; renewable electric power; green manufacturing; and emerging green occupations. Participants will earn certificates and degrees through community colleges, organized labor, and industry-recognized training providers, and will receive employment placement and retention support in their chosen green career pathway.
The grant has been awarded to Worksystems, Inc. on behalf of the Community for Equity project - a diverse coalition representing Native Americans, African Americans, Latinos, the homeless, Immigrants, Veterans, ex-offenders, as well as the regional workforce investment system (CAWS, WorkSource, and the Local Workforce Investment Board), the business community, organized labor, the City of Portland, Oregon Department of Human Services, Housing Authority of Portland, PDC, local community colleges, and training providers.
Like other areas around the United States, the Portland metropolitan area has been devastated by the recent recession, resulting in mass layoffs, business closures, and a high unemployment rate. Low-income people and people of color have been most affected. Historically they have higher unemployment rates and fewer resources to rely on during job loss. They live in neighborhoods of high and expanding poverty, where those in poverty live with ever-greater insecurity, and where new families and individuals are falling into poverty at an increasing rate. At the same time, Oregon leads the nation in terms of green jobs (PEW: Clean Energy Economy, 2009) and Oregon’s businesses project a 14% growth in green jobs between 2008 and 2010. This project will ensure an equitable response to our communities’ needs for new jobs and to industry demands for a skilled green workforce.
We are grateful to all of our partners on this project including El Programa Hispano, IRCO, NAYA, the Urban League, Hacienda CDC, the Portland Community Reinvestment Initiative, Central City Concern, Change to Win, Construction Apprenticeship & Workforce Solutions, EC Company, Eco Tech, ETAP, Irvington Covenant, Laborers’ International Union of North America, Metropolitan Contractor Improvement Partnership, Neil Kelly, Oregon Tradeswomen, Portland YouthBuilders, and Verde.