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Hartnell College gets federal stimulus money

Salinas Californian, October 6, 2009

BY MARIA INES ZAMUDIO
mzamudio@thecalifornian.com

Federal stimulus money to train Salinas residents in green construction is here

Hartnell College, in a partnership with the Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties Workforce Development Board and Cabrillo College, received a $999,862 grant Friday to enroll Salinas residents in the green building and clean energy pre-apprenticeship training program.

Hartnell College will keep about $600,000 of that, said Mike Thomas, director of the college's Center for Sustainable Design and Construction.

During the six-month program, 60 students will spend 300 hours in a Hartnell classroom and earn 15 to 18 college credits. Courses include green site management, introduction to green construction and others.

Classes will start next spring semester.

Then students will spend another 300 hours in a paid internship program working for construction companies in the Salinas Valley, Thomas said.

"This program is about making the shift for the next generation of American builders," he said. "We'll be recruiting them [students] in the next couple of months. They can come from the one-stop center, Rancho Cielo or the Adult School. It is all part of trying to build a green construction work force."

Hartnell College was one of 34 recipients of $27 million in grants to jump-start the California Clean Energy Workforce Training Program.

Under this first phase of the program, anticipated to train 5,600, workers will be prepared for hands-on jobs ranging from installing solar panels and maintaining electric vehicles to computer programming and researching fuel cell technologies.

Training these workers in green-related fields will help develop the state's low-carbon, clean energy economy of the future, the governor's press release said.

Funding sources include the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or federal stimulus money; the State Energy Program; the governor's discretionary 15 percent portion of the federal Workforce Investment Act; the Assembly Bill 118 Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program; and public-private partnership matching funds, the press release said.

Additional Facts to get involved

Anyone interested in joining the Green Building and Clean Energy Pre-Apprenticeship Training Partnership can contact the Monterey County Workforce Development Board at 831-796-3313.

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