Mahoning, Trumbull counties to share green job-training funds

By Don Shilling

Officials hope the money will attract manufacturing companies to the area.

Mahoning and Trumbull counties will share in $100 million in job-training funds that are designed to help workers nationwide prepare for clean-energy jobs.

The money, which comes from the federal stimulus funds, was announced Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Mahoning County will be part of a $5 million program to train sheet- metal workers in construction of energy-efficient buildings and manufacturing of components for the wind and solar industries. Four counties in Ohio and those in several other states also are involved.

Trumbull County will be part of two training programs that are focused on assisting workers in counties that have been hit hard by the downturn in the auto industry.

One is a $4.8 million program that is dedicated to 44 counties in Ohio. Workers will be trained for a variety of work in alternative energy industries.

Trumbull County also is part of a $4 million program that is being set up in eight Ohio counties and other states. It will create a Green Manufacturing Skill Training Certification training program to prepare workers for jobs in energy storage and energy manufacturing industries.

The programs are being created by a variety of labor and work-force development groups.

Officials who oversee the area One Stop employment agencies say details on the training programs will be released later.

“Anytime you get money coming into Ohio, and particularly our area, that’s a positive thing,” said Bert Cene, director of the Mahoning Columbiana Training Association.

Bill Turner, Trumbull County One Stop administrator, said he hopes the training programs will attract manufacturing companies to the area or encourage current companies to produce parts for the wind and solar industries.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, said the training programs fit with efforts under way at the Eastern Gateway Community College, Youngstown State University and the proposed Warren Cleantech Incubator.

“Manufacturing just isn’t going to be the past now. It’s going to be our future,” he said.

Ryan and Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Avon, joined Hilda Solis, U.S. secretary of labor, in announcing the grants in a teleconference.

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