Senator John Isakson (R-Ga.) has introduced legislation that would amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to make non-union training programs eligible for federal funding under the “Green Jobs” program. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 established an energy efficiency and renewable worker training program through a provision known as the Green Jobs Act. The Green Jobs Improvement Act (S. 1238) would permit access to federal funding for these programs by removing the mandate that eligible entities “partner with labor organizations.” In essence, if this bill is enacted any contractor – regardless of union affiliation – with an accredited training program would be able to compete for federal grants under the Green Jobs Act. On April 22, 2009, Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) introduced a companion bill (H.R. 2026) in the House.
This bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.