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NAACP Support for Present and Future Green Jobs Appropriations and Policies

WHEREAS, prompted by the passage of the Green Jobs Act by the US Congress and by the recent implementation of the District of Columbia's Green Building Act, new opportunities will soon flood our local economy, as developers will be required to use sustainable products and methods in new buildings and renewable technologies will be developed throughout the country. With these developments comes the need for new and enhanced ―green related jobs and skills by people in our workforce; and

WHEREAS, the Green Jobs Act was included in Title X of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-140). The bill created a $125 million grant program at the Department of Labor, amended to the Workforce Investment Act, to provide quality training for jobs created by renewable energy and energy efficiency industry sectors; and

WHEREAS, the Congress now considers work on the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2009 Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill, and we urge full funding for the Green Jobs Act in this year's package and in other appropriations bills in the future; and

WHEREAS, the Green Jobs Act takes a three-pronged approach to tackling the challenge of training and preparing workers for careers in these dramatically growing sectors. First, it expands our nation's capacity to identify and track the new jobs and the skills needed for clean energy and efficiency industries, and to provide technical assistance, capacity-building, and labor exchange services to better place workers in these industries. Second, competitive grants will fund partnerships between community colleges, labor unions, private industry and community-based organizations to train thousands of workers each year for careers in the green energy sector. Finally, funding for Pathways out of Poverty' demonstration projects will specifically target low-income communities to give them the training; and

WHEREAS, transitioning our country toward a clean energy economy that will provide all regions of the nation and all Americans with the opportunity to work in these quality skilled jobs, which are essential to our country's future; and

WHEREAS, fully funding the Green Jobs Act at $125 million is critical to our efforts to support economic development and job creation, as well as to produce a workforce that is trained and skilled in these emerging green collar trades. Investing in Green Jobs will also pay dividends in moving our nation toward greater energy independence, a cleaner environment, and a more equitable society built on a strong middle class of green collar workers.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP shall advocate for present and continued funding for the Green Jobs Act and for the inclusion of African Americans and other people of color's rightful place in the emerging new green energy sectors and sustainable economies.