Rep. McNerney Introduces Job Training Legislation for Growing Clean Energy Fields
Stockton, CA – As clean energy jobs continue to account for the fastest growing occupations in the United States, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) – a former wind engineer who spent 25 years working in the energy sector – has introduced H.R. 6833, The Grants for Renewable Energy Education for the Nation (GREEN) Act, to help the next generation of workers train for careers in these fast-growing fields.
The GREEN Act would provide grant funding for educational and technical training programs in renewable energy fields. As emerging technologies and trends push our nation toward more efficient and environmentally sustainable energy consumption, America’s workforce must be equipped with the skills needed to grow these sectors. This bill would help fund programs to educate and train students in these fields, creating a bridge between secondary and postsecondary schools so students can transition to a postsecondary program with the fundamental technical knowledge that will allow them to better compete in today’s economy. The bill would also provide opportunities for technical schools to upgrade their own energy systems to serve as model training facilities.
“Jobs in the solar and wind energy sectors are amongst the fastest growing in our nation’s economy, and pay well above the national median income,” said Congressman McNerney. “The clean energy industries are expanding and have great potential to grow our economy and move us toward a sustainable energy future. By creating partnerships in renewable energy fields, we will prepare young Americans to develop and operate clean energy systems of the future.”
The Department of Energy’s annual U.S. Energy Employment report for 2017 highlights the upward trend in employment in clean energy – with 25 percent in the solar workforce in 2016 and a 32 percent increase in wind employment. Additionally the report notes that almost 73 percent of employers across energy sectors reported difficulty hiring qualified workers over the last 12 months, with 26 percent noting it was very difficult.
The GREEN Act is co-sponsored by 23 members of the House of Representatives, and has been endorsed by the Association for Career and Technical Education and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium.
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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.