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Congress Should Eliminate Restrictions on Green Jobs Training

Congress should eliminate restrictions on new green jobs training grants that disqualify construction training programs that arent affiliated with a union the AGC of America said. Saying the future economy should be as inclusive as possible it urged members of Congress to support newly introduced legislation that would make any qualified professional construction training program eligible for the new grants funded by the stimulus package.

This is no time for Congress to start denying workers access to opportunity and avenues to success said Stephen E. Sandherr AGCs CEO. You should be able to don a green collar even if you dont wear a union hat.

The Green Jobs Act which was included in energy legislation enacted at the end of 2007 establishes a renewable energy worker training program to help create a workforce capable of building more energy-efficient buildings and infrastructure Sandherr said. However the legislation included language requiring all grant applicants to partner with unions effectively barring more non-union training programs from applying.

The association urged members of Congress and the Administration to support legislation introduced today by Minnesota Congressman John Kline that would allow all qualified construction training programs regardless of union affiliation to compete for the federal grants. Noting that the construction industry already is taking significant steps to improve the environmental performance of buildings roads and infrastructure he said the legislation was needed to help build on that progress.

Adding that the Associated General Contractors of America represents both union and non-union construction firms Sandherr said nobody should have a monopoly on improving our environment or building the economy of the future.

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