The White House announced on May 26 that the Labor Dept. will release $500 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act aid to train workers for careers in energy efficiency and renewable energy. The funds will be distributed to a variety of unions, state workforce agencies, community organizations and educational institutions through a competitive grants program. The money will be targeted to low-income communities. Of the total, $50 million will go to workers dislocated by the auto industry’s restructuring. The competition for grants, administered by the Employment and Training Administration, begins in June, with applications due beginning in late summer.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.