Stimulus funds help RENEW program train and find 500 residents green jobs

City leaders from Minneapolis and Saint Paul celebrated the success of RENEW (Renewable Energy Networks Empowering Workers) at a job fair hosted by Dunwoody College of Technology, one of the program’s training sites. RENEW is a program that recruits job seekers from the core neighborhoods of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and prepares them for green careers and connects them with businesses who are hiring.

Since its inception, RENEW has exceeded its goal of training 500 workers: more than 580 residents enrolled in the program, with 350 earning industry-recognized credentials and more than 240 securing employment in living-wage jobs directly related to their training. Program participants select from more than 70 training options in areas of construction--manufacturing, building systems, and renewable energy with a focus on solar power. Employment service providers support participants with training guidance and tuition assistance; job search and resume building; and workshops and networking seminars.

Strong performance in credentialing and employment outcomes recently gained RENEW recognition for "promising practices" by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration.  RENEW was the only ARRA Pathways Out of Poverty grant in the country selected for a review. A report on the RENEW Project is currently being developed by the Department of Labor, for release later this month.

RENEW is a collaboration between the City of Minneapolis and Ramsey County Workforce Solutions, made possible by a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, called "Pathways Out of Poverty," that is part of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Published Jul. 27, 2011