Robert Kennedy, Jr. Highlights Green Opportunities at Public Housing Complex

Louisville Metro Spotlights Kentucky’s Clean Energy Corps

LOUISVILLE, KY – September 16, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — As part of Kentucky’s Clean Energy Corps initiative, nationally celebrated environmental activist Robert Kennedy Jr. joined state and local officials today in encouraging Kentuckians to save energy.  Gov. Steve Beshear launched Kentucky’s Clean Energy Corps in February as a public/private partnership to promote energy efficiency in Kentucky homes, saving families on their utility bills, protecting the environment, and creating green collar jobs.

“It’s important to find ways to invest in our future, especially in ways that bring jobs and economic development to the state,” said Gov. Beshear. “ I applaud Louisville Metro, its local leaders and community members on their efforts to green their city in a way that saves dollars, creates green collar jobs and protects our environment. For cities like Louisville to partner with Kentucky’s Clean Energy Corps and at the same time create job opportunities when they’re really needed, is something we need more of across the Commonwealth.”

“We are experiencing some really difficult times right now, and it is critical that we exercise as much of our resources as possible to help save Kentuckians money and create jobs for those who need them,” said Finance and Administration Secretary Jonathan Miller.  “Kentucky’s Clean Energy Corps will do just that – put Kentuckians to work using new, innovative green technologies that will not only help Kentuckians to save money every month on their utility bills, but it will also protect the environment for our future generations.  It’s a win-win-win.”

Robert Kennedy Jr. helped preside over an event that marked the launch of a partnership joining federal, state and local governments with private-sector organizations. Partners in the Louisville Metro Clean Energy Corps efforts include the state’s Finance and Administration Cabinet, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s Louisville Field Office, Louisville Metro Housing Authority, Kentucky Housing Corporation, Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet’s Office of Career and Technical Education, KentuckianaWorks and Louisville Metro Community Action Partnership.

The event highlighted energy efficiency projects within the Louisville Metro Housing Authority.  The Housing Authority recently completed a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified multi-family affordable housing building, and a LEED certified community center is under construction.  The Housing Authority also has plans to perform major energy efficiency retrofits on The Friary, another multi-family affordable housing building.

“HUD recently made $3.5 billion of competitive funds available to encourage development and rehabilitation of projects that improve public housing, rebuild communities, and increase energy efficiency,” said Krista Mills, field director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  “HUD spends about $5 billion on energy for our Public Housing and Section 8 operations alone. Saving just 5 percent annually could generate a savings of $1 billion over the next several years that we could invest in affordable housing. Developing and implementing energy-efficient housing options for our communities is imperative for both saving money and saving the planet.”

Additionally, today’s event helped bring attention to the resources that exist – and have been increased under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – for unemployed, underemployed and dislocated workers to obtain training for the green collar jobs that will be created by Kentucky’s Clean Energy Corps.  Information was provided to local residents regarding education, training and employment assistance.  Homeowners also received information and training on energy efficiency measures they can use in their homes.

“As part of the federal economic stimulus package, KentuckianaWorks has $3 million in job training for laid-off workers to complete an associate’s degree, a certificate program, or finish a bachelor’s degree,” said KentuckianaWorks Executive Director Michael B. Gritton.  “Laid-off workers may qualify for up to $4,000 for tuition and up to $600 for books and supplies for up to two years for retraining and upgrading their skills in a high-growth career.  KentuckianaWorks is already aggressively pursuing grant funding to support green job training and will continue to pursue federal and foundation funding to prepare our workers to succeed in green collar jobs,” Gritton said.

Contact: Valeria Cummings
502/564-4240

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