Gainesville Jobs Go Green
In February, the House and Senate approved the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, an effort to reinvigorate America’s economy by providing stimulus funds that directly benefit both job seekers and businesses.
A focus of this plan is in emerging industries—renewable energy and energy efficiency. FloridaWorks has been researching the most effective ways to use the $1.3 million allotted to the Alachua and Bradford county workforce region. The majority of the funds have been allocated to youth programs, which are currently defined as ages 14 to 24. FloridaWorks will focus mainly on serving those 18 to 24.
In March, several planning sessions were held that brought community leaders and organizations together to determine which programs would best serve our workforce, our businesses and ultimately our community. More and more organizations are participating every day. Below are just a few of the examples of the programs we will be involved in this summer.
- The Community Weatherization Coalition will train individuals to perform energy audits for modest- to low-income households.
- Certification and training as solar contractors, solar hot water technicians and solar PV installation technicians
- Forestry services technician training
And it does not stop there. We will have a team of young people monitoring the carbon bank units of each project. At the end of the summer, the youths will put together a presentation to show how each program enhanced the Gainesville area and lowered our community’s carbon footprint.
Typically, FloridaWorks serves roughly 250 individuals every summer. This summer our goal is to train and employ 500 young people—and promote a sustainable environment at the same time. This is a big task and we cannot wait to get started!