Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley is introducing a bill he says would help meet a demand for workers created by the ethanol boom. Braley says the bill will authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to make competitive grants to community colleges for new renewable energy workforce training programs.
Braley, a democrat from Waterloo, says he’s talked with both of Iowa’s Senators and they seem to like the idea. Braley says he’s also talked with the chair of the House Ag Committee.
Braley says there’s been such and explosion in the development of renewable fuels, that there’s been a struggle to filled the jobs of trained technicians to work in the industry. Braley says the grants would help community colleges catch up with the demand for the job.
Braley says the bill grew out of discussions with community colleges who were working with people in the bio-technology field as they worked to train more technicians. Braley says there should be plenty of community colleges seeking the grants.
Braley says he’s confident there will be "keen interest" in not only the production of the biofuels, but also in the workers to make it happen. The bill is called the New Era Act of 2007 and it is the first bill Braley has introduced since being elected to first district seat in November.