COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Columbus leaders announced a $1.5 million dollar investment into clean energy jobs throughout Central Ohio on Thursday.

The program, which is called Empowered, will be run by IMPACT Community Action.

Its purpose is to provide hands-on experience and training for students in clean energy jobs, such as construction, manufacturing, utilities, solar installation, and more.

City leaders say it will also put an emphasis on recruiting more women and people of color, into clean energy.

“Over the course of the time that they’ll be here, while they’ll receive a performance stipend, they will also be paid as energy advocates going out into the community and also doing some of the work,” said Teresa Gary, vice president of workforce programs at IMPACT Community Action.

Gary says students will not only receive job experience, but also a stipend of around $250 a week, along with a $17 an hour wage. Furthermore, those who’d like to continue their education, will be encouraged to do so.

“They can also be enrolled at the same time, you know, in community college or undergraduate school. But they’re able to receive training, get jobs immediately, great paying jobs,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther.

Those jobs will come from local business leaders like Brad DeHays.

“We need a significant amount of employees, and groups like IMPACT are very important pieces to that puzzle,” said DeHays.

DeHays is the owner and founder of Connect Housing Blocks, a construction company that plans to build a major manufacturing company here in Greater Columbus.

His goal is to provide these students with an environment that is both safer and more systematic toward building their careers.

“At a manufacturing facility, we’re able to have cellphones in lockers, we’re able to have training in the training room, we’re able to move them from the training room inside the facility to a station where they then can put some of their newly formed skills to the test,” said DeHays.

The Empowered program will begin in June, and is for those aged 18 to 24 years old.

To sign up you can visit IMPACT Community Action in person and apply there. Or head to