News and Tribune

January 22, 2010

Indiana getting $6 million for green jobs and technologies

By BRADEN LAMMERS



More federal funding may be coming to Southern Indiana to help develop green jobs and technology.

Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development announced this week it will receive a $6 million training grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the U.S. Department of Labor, according to a press release.

The grant is designed to fund Indiana's Green Energy Technology Instruction and Training, also called the I GET IT program.

It is a statewide plan that will provide skills training and on-the-job experience in the green energy sector to more than 2,100 dislocated autoworkers, unemployed Hoosiers, out-of-school youth and adults with barriers to employment, the release says.

While the grant is targeted at helping to develop and grow “green” industries in Indiana, especially the automobile industry, several local partners are involved.

Ivy Tech Community College and the Southeastern Indiana Small Business Development Center have been listed as partners, but the role of the entities is undetermined.

“Specific details will be available in the spring,” said Marc Lotter, spokesman with Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development.

He said where and how the funding will be distributed has not been figured out or if Ivy Tech’s Sellersburg campus will be involved, but a determination is likely to be made in about two or three months.

But the community college will have some role, officials say.

“Ivy Tech ... will expand our course offerings to include industry-identified add-ons in the area of advanced energy technology,” said Kelly Hauflaire, executive director of marketing and media relations at Ivy Tech Community College, in an e-mail. “[Workforce development] will actually develop the curriculum for these new training programs, which will be offered to students and those looking for retraining.

“The training programs will be a statewide initiative; however, we are unaware at this time how much funding we may receive.”

The Southeastern Indiana Small Business Development Center’s role locally also will be that of a grant partner, support organization and to aid in training.

One area business working with the SISBDC that is looking to expand its staff and train new employees is Scottsburg-based Autobeyours, said Blayr Barnard, regional director for the SISBDC.

The green business takes damaged Toyota Priuses, repairs them, includes their own technology and creates a vehicle that can get up to 100 mpg.

The $6 million grant is the second grant awarded to the workforce development department to advance green jobs and technology, as it received a $4 million grant in November to study the green automobile sector, the release says.