U.S. Department of Labor "Green Jobs" Training Grant to Benefit Miami Programs

$2.6 Million in Funding Provided to Local Team

Aug 09, 2011, 13:35 ET from Opa-locka Community Development Corporation

OPA-LOCKA, Fla., Aug. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Labor recently awarded a $2.6 million grant to a team of partner organizations in Miami to provide training for in-demand "green" jobs.  Partners in the joint initiative include the LIUNA Training Fund (Laborer's International Union of North America), Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC), Jamii Builders (a subsidiary of OLCDC), South Florida Workforce, and the Local Laborer's Union 1652.

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Each year, at least 40 individuals will complete training with the Green Jobs Innovation grant program. Training will consist of two sessions per year for three years in the South Florida region.

The program aims to increase the number of individuals receiving industry-recognized credentials for employment in green jobs.  

"As the job market rebounds and the demand for construction jobs increases, we have a real opportunity through this training grant to recruit and train new workers," said Willie Logan, president and CEO of OLCDC.  "The need for people with skills in 'green' construction is only going to increase in demand in the coming years."

Program participants learn skills in green construction and weatherization.  After training, workers qualify for LIUNA Apprenticeship programs and living wage jobs that provide career growth opportunities.

"This training program will help us increase the overall talent pool in 'green' jobs that represent the future of construction," said Denise Mincey-Mills, vice president of business development and training at Jamii Builders, a subsidiary of OLCDC.  "These are more than just temporary jobs – they are well-paying careers that will create a lifetime of opportunity for the graduates of these programs."

LIUNA and the OLCDC recently collaborated on a jointly-funded pilot residential construction program.  The first 41 graduates of the program received their certificates during a graduation ceremony in Opa-locka on Friday, July 15, 2011. Many of the graduates are getting jobs with local contractors on the Magnolia North redevelopment project, an OLCDC-led project intended to renovate 83 houses in Magnolia North, Bunche Park and Rainbow Park.  After the Magnolia North project ends, members of the first graduating class will move on to various other union construction jobs.

The 2.6 million dollars awarded to the Miami team is part of a larger $5.5 million grant awarded on June 22, 2011 to the LIUNA Training and Education Fund by the U.S. Department of Labor. The three-year grant will also fund energy efficiency and green construction training in Cincinnati, New Orleans, New York City, Long Island, Newburgh, and Albany/Schenectady, New York.

SOURCE Opa-locka Community Development Corporation