SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — The California Recovery Task Force on Friday announced the 10 recipients of nearly $2.2 million in Regional Industry Clusters of Opportunity Grants (RICOG). These grants will bolster regional economic competitiveness by building the capacity of regional collaborations to identify growing industries, undertake strategic planning and leverage public and private resources.

“California’s shift to a low-carbon, clean-energy economy depends on a well-trained, knowledgeable, energized and stable workforce,” said Herb K. Shultz, Senior Advisor to the Governor and Director of the California Recovery Task Force. “It’s important that we invest in our dislocated and new workforce to help them become employed in leading clean energy industries, such as wind and solar manufacturing, clean-fueled vehicles and green, efficient buildings.”

Focusing investments on industry clusters has advantages for both workers and businesses. Workers gain access to career pathways for employment in competitive industries and businesses gain access to specialized workforce.

“California’s economy is so unique that each region has specific industry clusters, which requires a diverse workforce development plan,” said Victoria Bradshaw, Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. “This diversity makes these grants ever more important to ensuring a workforce is fully prepared to meet the demands of employers across the state.”

The grant solicitation was a joint effort between the California Workforce Investment Board, the California Energy Commission and the California Economic Strategy Panel. Funding for the grants come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) and Assembly Bill 118, the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.

Each of the successful applicants received $200,000 of Recovery Act funding and those applicants that focus activities on Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Technologies will receive AB 118 funding up to $50,000.