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Authorized by the Green Jobs Act signed into law by Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Mass., the Energy and Environmental Affairs' new Pathways Out of Poverty grants are designed to jump-start training in clean energy careers for low- and moderate-income residents.

EEA will award five grants of $100,000 to $300,000 to each program that serves workers with incomes at or below 300% of the federal poverty level ($63,600 for family of four). Grants will target programs in the commonwealth's gateway communities of Brockton, Fall River, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, New Bedford, Pittsfield, Springfield and Worcester.

Grant applications are due to EEA by Jan. 15 for the programs that are expected to begin in February and last through June 2010.

"These grants will fund programs that prepare workers for good-paying jobs in this growing sector of the Massachusetts economy, giving low- and moderate-income individuals a path to self-sufficiency while building the skilled workforce our clean energy industry needs in order to thrive," says EEA Secretary Ian A. Bowles.

Projects eligible for Pathways Out of Poverty grants include job training and apprenticeship programs, relevant education, career coaching, and outreach and recruitment of unemployed participants. While grant applicants are not required to provide matching funds, EEA will give more weight in the selection process to projects that leverage funding from additional sources.

In addition to authorizing Pathways Out of Poverty grants, the Green Jobs Act created a new Clean Energy Technology Center that will support workforce development, university partnerships, R&D and clean energy entrepreneurship.

For more information, visit mass.gov.

SOURCE: Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs



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