Bryant seeks to expand training for Illinois impacted by energy transition


MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (KFVS) – Illinois State Senator Terri Bryant has introduced legislation that would expand training opportunities and broaden the demographics of interns eligible to participate in the Clean Jobs Workforce Network program.

Bryant says the legislation is part of efforts to ensure that Illinois affected by the Energy Transition Act can access sufficient assistance.

“For generations, the coal industry has provided countless hard-working families in Southern Illinois with well-paying jobs and financial security,” said Senator Bryant. “It is our state’s duty to ensure that we provide adequate assistance to Illinois affected by our transition away from coal.”

The recently introduced Senate Bill 3759 would expand training programs, eligible interns, and improve demographic reporting for the Clean Jobs Workforce Network program by:

  • Define “spouse” to include potentially displaced householders and significant others of coal miners who may have to enter the workforce for income or relocation reasons;
  • Added program delivery hub sites to serve Franklin and Washington counties, as they have the most employees affected by the Energy Transition Act who do not have a site;
  • Add broadband and fiber optic infrastructure to the outline of trainable areas to build on the state’s efforts to increase statewide broadband access through the Connect initiative Illinois; and
  • Require the reporting of demographics of potential interns who apply at Program Delivery Center sites.

“These common-sense extensions to the Energy Transition Act will help ensure that Illinois is not left behind during our statewide transition,” said Senator Bryant. “By creating additional training centers, expanding participant eligibility, and expanding the program within these facilities, we are creating more opportunities for people in our state who are currently facing an uncertain future.”

The Energy Transition Act of 2021 created the Clean Jobs Workforce Network program, which was tasked with establishing thirteen central program delivery sites across the state to provide rehabilitation and training to Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), disadvantaged workers, and displaced workers impacted by the state’s transition away from a carbon-based energy industry.

The law established the curriculum for clean jobs to be used at central sites. The program includes training and education related to solar, wind, energy efficiency, energy storage, solar thermal, green hydrogen, geothermal, electric vehicles, renewable energy industries , emission reduction and other related sectors.

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