A recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that the Department of Labor has ineffectively spent $595 million dollars on Green Jobs Training. A closer reading of the report also reveals the program has so far been unsuccessful at achieving employment outcomes – only 55 percent that completed training were placed into jobs.
Despite the program’s poor performance, it was a windfall for labor-management training programs. While the report states that labor-management organizations only received 10 percent of the grants directly,
“more than half of the green jobs training grantees used sub-grantees to implement their grants instead of providing training directly to participants. For construction programs, the trainees were likely trained through union programs acting as sub-grantees.”
This is significant because the underlying legislation that created these grant programs required that any entity receiving grant money must partner with organized labor.
Merit shop companies have been at the forefront of green construction since before this terminology came into fashion. In fact, ABC has been at the forefront of the green building movement since its inception. ABC member SIGAL Construction was a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), as well as one of the authors of the LEED rating system.
It is our view that the most efficient path to encouraging continued growth of this sector is by giving all training providers, regardless of union affiliation, access to federal training programs so the greatest number of workers can be trained in green jobs.
Obviously, the alternative isn’t delivering results and is costing taxpayers a lot of money.