Illinois governor Pat Quinn announced recently that $1.6 million would be going towards the first phase of a new green jobs training program, which is slated to take place over several years. The program, known as the Urban Weatherization Initiative (UWI), was designed to help create jobs in Illinois while cutting down on energy costs and increasing energy efficiency for homeowners in the state.
The grants are part of Governor Quinn’s larger scheme to create jobs in Illinois, and will go towards training for home energy auditors and prepare trainees to become certified in weatherization retrofits for residences. The first series of grants have been awarded to various organizations in the Chicago, East St. Louis and Rockford areas.
UWI is funded through the $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which has created over 135,000 jobs to date and is projected to create over 400,000 in the next six years. Governor Quinn sees programs like the UWI as an investment in the state’s economic future.
“As the green sector continues to grow, opportunities for people to go to work in skilled high-tech jobs increase,” Quinn said. “This funding will help prepare workers for the green jobs of tomorrow, which will help secure our long-term economic growth.”