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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2011

Governor Quinn Announces Capital Funding for Green Jobs Training Program
Urban Weatherization Program will Provide Training for Home Energy Auditors, Job Opportunities in Urban Communities

CHICAGO – September 28, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced $1.6 million in capital funding to kick-off the first phase a multi-year green jobs training program. The Urban Weatherization Initiative (UWI) is an innovative program that will help create jobs in urban communities while increasing energy efficiency and reducing energy costs to homeowners.

“As the green sector continues to grow, opportunities for people to go to work in skilled high-tech jobs increase,” Governor Quinn said. “This funding will help prepare workers for the green jobs of tomorrow, which will help secure our long-term economic growth.”

Building on Governor Quinn’s commitment to growing job opportunities throughout the state, the grants announced today will provide home energy audit training and prepare trainees to become nationally certified in home energy and weatherization retrofit work. The first round of grants has been awarded through a competitive process to the following organizations located in the Chicago metro area, East St. Louis and Rockford:

Grantee Award Amount
City of Rockford $250,000
Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville $300,000
Hispanic American Construction Industry Association $300,000
Local Economic & Employment Development Council, Inc. $250,000
Albany Park Community Center $250,000
Opportunity Advancement, Inc of Chicago $250,000

“Weatherization benefits homeowners by increasing energy efficiency and helping keep their energy costs down,” said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Warren Ribley. “This initiative will provide a much needed economic boost to disadvantaged neighborhoods that will help revitalize communities and create jobs.”

The Urban Weatherization Initiative (UWI) is funded through the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program. Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! capital program has created more than 135,000 jobs to date and is expected to create more than 400,000 jobs over six years. The UWI was initially proposed by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, and currently, $12 million in capital funding has been allotted to UWI to start the program, fund the first round of grants for home energy auditor training, and provide future grants for weatherization specialist training in additional communities.

“Many of our urban communities are facing record unemployment and underemployment, and the Urban Weatherization Initiative creates new job opportunities right at home,” said State Rep. William Davis (D-Homewood), Chair of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. “A new generation of energy auditor and weatherization professional jobs will earn good wages, transform our homes, lower our bills and make our communities more attractive for future green investment.”

Weatherization efforts provide social, economic and environmental benefits to homeowners. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, weatherization reduced energy bills an average of $215 per year in 2002.

UWI is administered by the Office of Urban Assistance in the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. For more information about the Urban Weatherization Initiative, please visit www.ildceo.net/urbanweatherization.



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