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updated: 5/18/2011 1:03 PM

Aurora ready to up funding for green jobs

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An Aurora job training program called GreenWorks is about to get greener.

In a financial sense, that is.

The partnership between Waubonsee Community College and the city of Aurora, which provides training for careers in energy efficiency, is about to double in funding and in the number of participants it can accept.

Aurora aldermen are expected to increase the city's contribution to the program to $86,000 from $40,000 during the city council meeting Tuesday, May 24.

The program will offer tuition reimbursements for certain students who take courses in air sealing and insulation as well as energy efficiency analysis for houses and multifamily buildings at Waubonsee and pass a test to become certified.

Aurora residents, employees or owners of Aurora businesses and city-licensed contractors are eligible to apply for reimbursement of each course's $2,400 average cost, Zilly said.

With $86,000 in city funding to cover tuition reimbursements and other program costs, about 32 students now can participate in GreenWorks, as opposed to 14, Alderman Lynda Elmore said.

"That's a huge increase in the number of students," she said.

The $86,000 will come from a federal grant the city received, said Karen Zilly, development coordinator for the city's neighborhood redevelopment division.