• WisPolitics


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

 9:59 PM 

Baldwin touts tech college grants

MILWAUKEE -- U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin today touted her newly proposed GREEN Act legislation as a way to boost updated skills training at tech colleges.

Nationally, about 3.4 million jobs are in the "green collar" job category, said Baldwin, adding her legislation would prepare students for what she says are better paying jobs in the fastest-growing area of the economy.

"It is increasing at a rate that is higher than other areas of manufacturing," she added. "It employs more people in the United States than the fossil fuel industry. Here in this state, it employs about twice as many people as in the biotech industry, just to give you a few little markers of where we are."

Baldwin said the "green energy" sector has grown twice as fast as the overall economy, and that green energy jobs pay about 13 percent higher than the national average.

But like other industries, Baldwin said, "There is a gap between the number of qualified people ready to enter these jobs ready to go and the number of jobs that are being created nationally."

Baldwin led a panel discussion and toured classrooms today at Milwaukee Area Technical College, five days after introducing her Grants for Renewable Energy Education for the Nation (GREEN) Act, to the U.S. Senate. The legislation would allow schools and college systems nationwide to compete for $100 million in annual grants.

Baldwin also stopped at three other Wisconsin technical colleges today: Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay and Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin Rapids.

She said she foresees Wisconsin being in a strong position to compete for GREEN Act grants, because tech colleges here have "already taken a leadership role" in what Baldwin calls "renewable energy education."

- By Kay Nolan
For WisPolitics.com


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