From a news release issued by the Department of Workforce Developing announcing a green jobs project in five Wisconsin cities, including Wisconsin Rapids:

. . .Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman today announced a Wisconsin American Recovery and Reinvestment (ARRA) project employing young adults in “green jobs” to help homeowners cut utility bills, saving money and energy.

“With this Recovery-funded pilot, we are employing young adults in ‘green jobs,’ opening the door to career opportunities,” Secretary Gassman said. “We are helping homeowners save money and conserve energy while protecting our environment.”

On behalf of Governor Doyle, Secretary Gassman officially unveiled the ARRA-funded “Energy Advocate Youth Pilot” at the home of DeCarlos and Michelle Nora in Beloit’s Merrill Neighborhood. As part of the announcement, she accompanied five “energy advocates,” as they inspected the young couple’s home and suggested ways to make the house more energy efficient. . . .

With federal ARRA funds, Governor Doyle provided for the employment of 25 individuals, who are 18 to 24 years of age, from low-income households, and meet one of six other criteria for disadvantaged youth. The project is one of many ARRA-funded efforts that will employ approximately 4,000 Wisconsin young adults statewide through June 2011.

Besides Beloit, five energy advocates will work in each of the following cities: Green Bay, Racine, Superior and Wisconsin Rapids, communities with high unemployment, predominantly older homes, and many young people seeking jobs. In June, Beloit had the highest unemployment rate, 18.6 percent. Milwaukee has a similar, independent project.

For more information about Wisconsin ARRA efforts, visit:
For more information about WECC’s Focus on Energy initiative, visit: