Labor Department awards millions of dollars in college grants for scarce ‘green jobs’

The Department of Labor has issued several million dollars in grants to community colleges and specialized universities around the country to train students for “green jobs” in renewable energy fields. While the grants are supposed to fund the future “rank and file” workers of the renewable energy industry, there’s a glaring problem the DOL seemingly overlooked — those jobs are either non-existent or scarce.

A former college official who has applied for these grants and has in-depth experience working with the Department of Labor and the Department of Education told The Daily Caller that colleges will often fudge expected job placement numbers just to get extra government cash.

“On ground level – it’s a real struggle – my grant writers came to me and honestly said, ‘I don’t have any job projections, what do I tell them?’ You do your best to make up job numbers,” said the former college official, who wished to remain anonymous to prevent jeopardizing future job opportunities. “But it’s not like lying – it’s just guessing what we might be able to do in a best case scenario, but you don’t say it’s not likely for many jobs.”

The former college official told TheDC that, though his college received five different “green jobs” grants from the Department of Labor to train students, no program has been set up yet.

“I can tell you, one, at least at my college, we’ve been very slow to get these grants underway,” he said. “In terms of those programs going, what’s the rate of success on these programs? I don’t think the DOL could produce very strong job numbers on these programs.”

Bill Wilson of not-for-profit group Americans for Limited Government told TheDC these programs and grants are nothing more than a collection of buzzwords, as they don’t serve any practical purpose.

“Congress needs to cut these vanity ‘green job’ promotion projects out of the budget, it is a waste of money and an insult to the American taxpayer to fund these thinly veiled environmental political rallies,” Wilson said in an e-mail.

It’s not like these grants are being given to research and development programs at big name schools focusing on developing new renewable energy technology, either. They’re being given to universities and community colleges to train students in technical or associate degree programs to work in yet-to-be-developed fields. Many of the grants are promised to colleges that pledged to push “green jobs” or “new energy technology,” but don’t go into much more detail about how they plan to go about doing that.

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  • Drahcir

    I seem to remember reading and hearing something about ‘cleaner coal’. But I think there was some kind of problem with that, I really don’t remember. As for this thinking, the administration through the EPA is looking real hard at shutting down the coal mining industry in Virginia becouse of water pollution. Like there is not enough people out of work, They, the left, need more!

    • ladylove

      so what they meant was, if they never take the coal out of the earth, they can call it cleaner coal.

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  • erick1740

    More insanity by a incompetent leader and administration.

  • johno413

    This is weaker proof that a “green” economy is useless, futile, impossible, or whatever negative you like, and more proof that the federal government is routinely inept at getting the desired results from money it spends. Some states are doing quite well with their own programs, and would welcome this wasted money to improve. Texas, for example, is a lot smarter about renewable energy and “green” education than the federal government ever hopes to be. For example, the amount of electricity gained from wind systems exceeds many “green” nations across the globe. A local level, market oriented solution there has minimal impact on the utility consumer while achieving similar goals as the fed would set.

    Of course, there are still many cost and technical obstacles yet. But I’ll put my money on programs like in TX to overcome those LONG before I will Washington.

  • Shawn24

    I have to ask:
    Why does everyone in the photo accompanying the article look so sad, or angry? They are standing there bald-faced telling us how much of our money they are about to take – and the fraud they are going to spend our money on?
    When did white collar thieves join up with blue collar thieves and start holding press conferences?
    Just out here in the upper Midwest winter wondering out loud ;o)

    • ladylove

      read the caption,

      they are unemployed, and if you had to stand behind Pelosi, and you did not have a job, you would look unhappy too.

      this was taken Dec 1, 2010, at a news conference on unemployemnt insurance.

  • Joe Astroturf

    All you right wingers just because the scientists at East Anglia made up the hockey stick graph to get trillions of your dollars you are stupid not to believe them.

  • ladylove

    so in other words,

    all this is is another waste of the taxpayers money, and nothing more…