Green energy generating new opportunity for Aboriginal communities

TORONTO, April 21 /CNW/ - The Aboriginal Human Resource Council (AHRC) and the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to encourage and promote Aboriginal opportunities in Ontario's green energy sector.

The MOU provides for the two organizations to work together in areas such as:

    
    -  Projects to advance learning about the green sector and ways that
       Aboriginal people can achieve business and employment opportunities in
       the sector.
    -  Joint applications for grants and joint responses to requests for
       proposals when appropriate.
    -  AHRC joining OSEA's cross skills working group to identify human
       resources areas that need further development and adjustment to
       satisfy the Green labour market.
    -  Developing a web-based seminar to discuss the findings of the cross-
       skills working group.
    

At Inclusion Works '10 event in Toronto, April 27-29, 2010, AHRC and OSEA will release a new publication, Green Energy Outlook: Generating Opportunities for Aboriginal Communities, to promote the initiative. In addition, the Inclusion Works '10 program will include a breakout session on "Creating Aboriginal Opportunities in the Green Energy Sector."

AHRC President and CEO, Kelly Lendsay, says green energy represents the next big opportunity for Aboriginal communities and a natural connection between Indigenous Peoples and sustainable development with the green energy sector.

"As we point out in the new publication, Aboriginal communities, businesses, and individuals are in a position to play a vital role and prominent place in this industry, and that's exactly what we will do in the coming years," says Mr. Lendsay.

He adds that Ontario's Green Energy and Economy Act provides specific incentives for Aboriginal participation in the Green sector with measures such as an Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program, an Aboriginal Energy Partnerships Program and Aboriginal price incentives over and above the feed-in tariffs being paid for renewable energy.

OSEA Executive Director, Kristopher Stevens, says it is estimated that the Green Energy and Green Economy Act will result in the creation of over 50,000 jobs in Ontario's Green Energy sector in the next three years, which will drive over $10 billion worth of revenue.

"The ability to efficiently develop and deploy the green industry and the Aboriginal workforce are two important and intertwined needs. Our partnership with council recognizes this and will go a long way to making it happen," says Mr. Stevens.

SOURCE Aboriginal Human Resource Council

For further information: For further information: Aboriginal Human Resource Council: Chris Freimond, (778) 840-2428 or Nicole Robertson, (403) 616-4999, http://www.aboriginalhr.ca; Ontario Sustainable Energy Association: Genevieve Light, (416) 977-4441, http://www.ontario-sea.org/

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