A bill pending in Congress would provide grants to community colleges to implement renewable energy education and training programs.
This press release from the Renewable Fuels Association says the New Era Act, introduced by Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, is before a congressional committee and would promote an educated and skilled workforce to meet the demands of an expanding renewable fuels industry:
In prepared testimony before the House Small Business Committee Subcommittee on Contracting and Technology, Hawkeye Renewables Founder and CEO Bruce Rastetter stated on behalf of his Iowa-based ethanol company that there is no lack of demand or interest for jobs in the biofuels industry. However, he added that a large majority of interested individuals are not adequately educated in the field.
“When our Fairbank, Iowa plant was set to open, we received over 800 applications for 45 jobs. However, it was easy to sift through prospective hires based on the degree of education, training or experience that applicants had,” said Rastetter. “There are many people with an interest in gaining employment in the biofuels industry; some just may lack the necessary skill-set to obtain employment. The return on investment grants like this can provide for communities, states and our nation is immeasurable.”
“As our industry continues to grow, the demand for skilled and educated workers provides a plethora of job opportunities for individuals interested in ethanol production in the U.S.,” said Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen. “For the benefit of our communities’, we must respond to this demand by providing opportunities for education on renewable fuels in our community colleges.”
You can read the full text of Rastetter’s testimony at www.ethanolrfa.org.