The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced grants totaling $1.2 million to support two new initiatives designed to train hundreds of low-skilled workers in Philadelphia for green jobs and move them into higher-paying positions with better advancement opportunities.
Funded by a $1.1 million grant from the foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Green Jobs Training Center will provide energy conservation training and professional certification for green-collar positions ranging from entry-level weatherization to building-performance analysis and solar technology. The center will be run by the Philadelphia-based Energy Coordinating Agency.
The second initiative, a city-wide green jobs apprenticeship program, is being designed by the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia with th help of a $125,000 Knight Foundation planning grant and input from the Green Economy Task Force, an alliance of a hundred local businesses, environmental groups, workforce development providers, and unions. The program, to be called the Green Jobs Corps, will work to match basic-skills training with employers' needs and connect local green companies to the region's workforce.
"The John S. and James L. Knight Green Jobs Training Center will be a vital link to green jobs in Philadelphia and the region. These are good-paying jobs with a very bright future," said ECA executive director Liz Robinson. "The training center will help build the skilled workforce that Pennsylvania urgently needs to create a new clean-energy economy."