60 eyed for green jobs training in Chattanooga

Posted by Ayreen Calimquim - On July 31, 2012 (EST)

Chattanooga officials said Thursday they're ready to move forward with a green jobs initiative aimed at training up to 60 people.

"We're giving people skills and training relating to the future," said Mayor Ron Littlefield.

Officials said they'll use a $300,000 grant that originally was approved by the federal Environmental Protection Agency a year ago. The funds, however, were held up at the federal level.

Wayne Cropp, of Chattanooga's Enterprise Center, said they'll begin looking at filling the posts and providing training in areas such as hazardous waste cleanup, asbestos remediation and brownfield assessment.

In addition, the training could be created in such sectors as nuclear energy and wind power, said Cropp, whose economic development group is administering the grant.

Mike Norman, of EPA's Southeast Region, said such programs place up to 75 percent of those people taking part in future jobs. He said the goal is usually 65 percent, but that figure has been higher in recent years.

Patsy Hazlewood, the state Department of Economic and Community Development's regional director, said the grant's objectives align with Gov. Bill Haslam's plans.

"As we talk with businesses about expansion, they all have one top issue ... an educated and trained workforce," she said.

The 13 weeks of training is slated to begin in September with help from Chattanooga State Community College and other entities.

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