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Oregon receives state labor market information grant
11/20/2009
Award of $1.25 million will help state study green jobs
CONTACT:  Graham Slater, Administrator
 Workforce and Economic Research Division
 Oregon Employment Department
 503-947-1212
 graham.j.slater@state.or.us
 
Salem- The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Oregon a grant of $1.25 million to strengthen the state’s ability to collect, study, and distribute labor market information regarding green jobs.

The state labor market information improvement grant, offered through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), was announced this week by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.

“Oregon’s green industry sector is growing – and it hasn’t been by accident. State policies have encouraged this growth, establishing Oregon as a place where businesses know they can locate and thrive,” Governor Kulongoski said. “Now, with even more data, we will be able to continue to attract companies that create green jobs by ensuring that we have a workforce ready to go to work.”

In June of this year, the Employment Department released The Greening of Oregon’s Workforce, an analysis of the roughly 50,000 green jobs that existed in Oregon in 2008. The report found that green jobs were spread across many industries and occupations, paid wages that tended to be slightly higher than the average for all jobs in the state, and often required no more than a high school education. Businesses also indicated they expected the number of green jobs to grow faster than the overall economy between 2008 and 2010.

This new grant award will allow the Employment Department and other workforce partners to take a more in-depth look at the green jobs information, particularly at those occupations which have the highest number of green jobs. It will help answer questions like, “Do green jobs require different skills than non-green jobs in the same occupation?” and “Where were Oregon’s green workers working five or ten years ago?”

The grant also emphasizes the importance of making this information relevant and available to a variety of customers, including businesses, job seekers, and workforce and training providers. The information will be useful in providing career guidance, targeting education and training resources, and developing public policies that assure skilled workers are ready to enter these green jobs.
“Oregon has a national reputation for excellent workforce information,” said Laurie Warner, Employment Department Director. “We look forward to working with our community college and workforce development partners, as well as Oregon’s Career Information System, to further increase our understanding of green jobs.”

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