Monday, December 19, 2005

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Grants of Nearly $14 Million to Train Workers for Careers in the Energy Industry

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 /U.S. Newswire/ -- U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao today announced six grants to train workers in Kentucky, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming for careers in the energy industry. The grants awarded today are part of a nearly $27 million investment in support of the nation's energy workforce under the president's High Growth Job Training Initiative, a strategic plan to prepare workers for jobs in expanding industries.

"Growing worldwide demand for energy is creating opportunities for workers who posses the skills energy producers need," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "These grants under President Bush's High Growth Job Training Initiative will help workers acquire advanced skills so they can succeed in America's vital energy sector."

Grants awarded in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will address training needs in the coal mining sector through the use of simulators, distance learning, mobile classrooms and traditional classroom instruction.

With its grant, the University of Missouri will establish a program to train workers in the nuclear energy sector. The program developed through this project will be disseminated to a network of community colleges throughout the country.

The College of Eastern Utah will train workers with transferable skills that can be used for careers in multiple sectors of the energy industry. Upon completion of the curriculum, participants will be offered additional training tailored to mining and power generation.

The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services will coordinate with the Wyoming Contractors Association to establish a basic safety training program for new workers in the oil and gas sector. The program will prepare individuals to meet industry safety standards and acquire skills through work on a 76-acre simulated oil and gas field.

"This package of grants builds on the President's plan to modernize this industry while reducing our dependence on foreign sources of energy," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Emily Stover DeRocco. "The varied training approaches provided through these grants will target specific industry needs and provide workers with skills that contribute to America's energy future."

The president's High Growth Job Training Initiative is a strategic effort to better prepare workers to take advantage of new job opportunities in high growth sectors of the American economy. Through executive forums with leaders of expanding industries, critical workforce gaps and issues are identified. Solutions are then created in cooperation with employers, educational institutions and the public workforce system. For more information, please visit http://www.doleta.gov/BRG/JobTrainInitiative/ .

U.S. Labor Department (DOL) releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. DOL is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit http://www.dol.gov/compliance.

http://www.usnewswire.com/

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