FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Shonda Ranson, 408-730-7661
June 30, 2010
NOVA, SolarTech, partners receive $4 million Green Innovations Challenge Grant
Sunnyvale, Calif.— The SolarTech Workforce Innovations Collaborative (SWIC), a partnership of NOVA, SolarTech and DeAnza-Foothill Community College District, was awarded $4 million to prepare the south San Francisco Bay Area to meet the labor needs of the fast-changing cleantech industry over the next two years. The winning plan will train and place 245 workers from the region in various jobs related to renewable energy. As part of their winning proposal, NOVA and the other members of SWIC will be targeting workers who are currently unemployed due to company layoffs or closures. The training to be provided will be determined based upon industry feedback to better ensure that participants will be competitive for local green jobs.
“These challenge grants will give industries in the green economy the ability to develop training programs that they know will address their workforce needs and put people back to work,” Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) Secretary Victoria Bradshaw announced at the June 29 press conference in Oroville, Calif. “Working with community colleges and other partners, thousands of workers will receive the skills needed to keep the green economy expanding now and into the next decade.”
“This award is a crowning achievement for our organization and our partners on several levels”, said Doug Payne, executive director of SolarTech. "It validates our vision to see tighter integration between industry, workforce and skills roadmaps across the entire solar value chain.”
“This grant is more than just running people through training,” explains NOVA’s director, Kris Stadelman. “While ‘clean’ and ‘green’ are tossed around frequently, the reality is that the industry is always changing, hard to define and even harder to staff. The purpose of this collaboration is to fix the labor supply and demand imbalance by creating a flexible, adaptable and accessible process that connects job seekers, educators and employers,” Stadelman said. “We’re going to take that process, test it, then share it to get these critical players working together anywhere and everywhere.”
The Green Innovations Challenge was part of a highly competitive State effort to target green jobs, which was announced in late May by Secretary Bradshaw. Only five other initiatives were funded in this highly competitive, statewide challenge in which $19 million in State funds were granted for industry-driven green jobs development.
SolarTech provides innovative expertise to accelerate local solar markets. Since 2006, SolarTech has been developing standards and best practices, working collaboratively to integrate programs across six key solar market development areas: permitting, installation, performance, workforce, interconnection, and finance. In 2009, SolarTech reached over 6,000 industry professionals as the only organization facilitating integrated, private/public collaboration through annual summits and symposiums on these six core initiatives.
NOVA (North Valley Job Training Consortium) is a nonprofit, federally funded organization dedicated to providing innovative, high-quality, customer-focused workforce development services. NOVA works closely with local businesses, educators and job seekers to ensure that its programs provide opportunities that build the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to address the workforce needs of Silicon Valley. For more information about NOVA, visit www.novaworks.org.