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House Republicans announced draft spending legislation Thursday that would block any fiscal year 2012 funding for the Labor Department’s Green Jobs Innovation Fund. The proposed restriction comes as Republicans are attacking federal green-jobs efforts following the meltdown of Solyndra, the California solar company that went bankrupt several weeks ago despite receiving a $535 million Energy Department loan guarantee in 2009.

The White House fiscal 2012 budget request seeks $60 million for the Labor Department's Green Jobs Innovation Fund, an increase of $20 million from 2010 levels.

In response to the demand in local and regional labor markets, states and local workforce investment areas across the country are interested in expanding training opportunities in green industry sectors and occupations to help workers get better jobs and increase compensation. Through competitive grant opportunities, the Green Jobs Innovation Fund will help workers receive job training in green industry sectors and occupations and access green career pathways,” the Labor Department’s proposal states.

The U.S. Department of Labor established the Green Jobs Innovation Fund competition to support opportunities for workers to receive job training in green industry sectors and occupations. Through this competition, the department will award approximately $40 million to support five to eight grantees with awards ranging from $5 million to $8 million each. Eligible applicants will include national and statewide organizations with local affiliates that have existing career training programs and will benefit a minimum of six communities per grant.

These funds will enable training providers to develop programs that incorporate green career pathways by forging linkages between Registered Apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, and/or integrating the delivery of technical and basic skills training through community-based partnerships. The grants are tied to the Labor Department's vision of increasing the number of individuals completing training programs with industry-recognized credentials and increasing the number of individuals completing training programs for employment in green jobs.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to view the online tutorial "Grant Applications 101: A Plain English Guide to ETA Competitive Grants." They can register at to access the solicitation for grant applications. (The Hill, 9/29/2011, DOL)

Grant information