Southwest Housing Solutions Gets $4M Federal Grant to Prepare Detroit Residents for Green Jobs

January 13th, 2010
GreenWorks trainees in the weatherization program run by WARM

The U.S. Department of Labor announced that Southwest Housing Solutions and its collaborative partners have been awarded a $4 million grant to train 360 disadvantaged community residents for employment opportunities in green industries.

The award is part of the $150 million “Pathways Out of Poverty” program authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Southwest Housing is one of 38 recipients of grants from the program in the country.

“These Pathways Out of Poverty grants will help workers in disadvantaged communities gain access to the good, safe and prosperous jobs of the 21st century green economy,” said Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor. “Green jobs present tremendous opportunities for people who have the core skills and competencies needed in such well-paying and rapidly growing industries as energy efficiency and renewable energy.”

Southwest Housing will use the $4 million grant to train unemployed individuals, high school dropouts, individuals with a criminal record and veterans.

To apply for the grant, Southwest Housing led a newly formed collaborative group called the Southwest Detroit Consortium for Green Jobs. In addition to Southwest Housing, the consortium includes nine partners:

The collaborative project will be implemented through the Center for Working Families at the Housing Opportunity Center, which is a part of Southwest Housing.

“This initiative truly demonstrates the power and importance of partnership to address the most pressing problems in our communities,” said John Van Camp, president of Southwest Solutions. “We believe that Pathways Out of Poverty will make a significant difference in preparing individuals for the right types of jobs that must play a vital role in Michigan’s economic recovery.”

Individuals participating in the program will be trained for jobs in weatherization, deconstruction and material reuse, green construction, retrofit, energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, energy auditing, landscaping, forestry, urban agriculture, and other “green” industries.

To be eligible for the program, individuals must reside in the zipcodes of 48208, 48209, 48210, 48216 or 48217.

The grant calls for the program to be implemented over a two year period, followed by a year of evaluating the program’s effectiveness.

To learn more about the program and the application process, visit the program website or contact our Housing Opportunity Center at 313.841.9641.

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