U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis toured a manufacturing company in St. Paul Wednesday that has trained its workers in energy efficiency and environmental awareness.
Viking Drill and Tool worked with the GreenPOWER program, which won $5 million in federal funding to tailor environmental training to individual businesses. Viking Drill says now it now manufactures cutting tools more sustainably and profitably.
Solis says more federal green innovation grants may be coming.
"We're looking for streamlined efficiencies; we're looking for technology, but making sure we're targeting dislocated workers — people that need to upgrade their skill," Solis said, adding that employing veterans returning from duty in the Middle East in green jobs also is one of the Obama adminstration's goals.
Viking Drill says it has hired 25 people over the last year and expects to hire more people soon.