Report

Design Snapshot — California’s Green Jobs Corps: Building Green Workforce Region-wide

Mark Muro and Sarah Rahman

Using a portion of the 15 percent discretionary Workforce Investment Act funds available to states
through ARRA, California is piloting a regionally-based, public-private partnership-driven, green jobs
training program for at-risk youth. The California Green Jobs Corps invests $10 million of ARRA funds
to leverage another $10 million in local resources to bring together collaborations of workforce
investment boards, community colleges, nonprofits, and employers to provide targeted youth with
opportunities for skills training, continuing education, and community service to contribute to emerging
regional green economies.

The framework for the Green Jobs Corps
program draws on a long-standing state
economic strategy that identifies nine economic
regions in California and seeks to address the
unique strengths and weaknesses of each.
Earlier this year, the state asked key leaders
from each region to submit regional recovery
plans to guide overall ARRA implementation at
the state-level (described in: “Guiding State
Stimulus Spending,” another “design snapshot”
in this Brookings series). For the Green Jobs
Corps program, in particular, the state invited
multi-sector partnerships from each region to
competitively apply for a portion of ARRA’s 15
percent governor’s discretionary Workforce
Investment Act (WIA) funds to implement
regionally-tailored efforts to spur green-friendly
economic growth, revive communities, and help
create a cleaner environment. Based on regional
conditions, the program aims to train at-risk youth in energy efficiency, green construction, and other
green jobs, as they continue their education and volunteer in environmental efforts, such as computer
recycling for nonprofits and weatherization assistance for seniors.

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