Suffolk County's top social services official said the county has found jobs for only 33 percent of welfare recipients being trained under a federal grant to do "green jobs" such as insulating homes and installing solar panels.

"It has not been very good," said Gregory Blass, social services commissioner, testifying before the human services committee on a resolution to accept a federal $189,000 grant for the "Green Jobs Corps 2" program.

"They still get the skills as a line of occupation," said Blass, but the numbers hired "are not as high as the feds projected it would go."

Under the grant, which as approved in committee, the county pays the Education and Assistance Corp., based in Hempstead, and the United Way in Deer Park to provide 12 weeks of training for jobs such as weatherization, energy efficiency projects, environmental conservation, and natural resource preservation. After training, the program also provides private employers with subsidized employment for a year.

Blass said of the 75 Suffolk welfare recipients who have received training since the program began in 2009, 25 remain have remained employed after the subsidy ran out. Seventeen new workers began training Monday.

Nassau County social services officials also have had uneven results. Karen Garber, department spokeswoman, said during the first 15 months ending in December 2010, the department placed 28 of 87 in employment, or 32 percent. In the nine months ending Sept. 30, 2011, 13 of 19 trainees gained employment, or 68 percent.

"Are we training people for jobs that don't exist?" asked Suffolk Legis. Edward Romaine (R-Center Moriches) during the committee meeting. While acknowledging the economic downturn has made creating new jobs difficult, Romaine asked, "At the end of the recession, do we expect industry will employ these people on Long Island?"

Blass later said the green industry itself is relatively small and has been hamstrung by the recession, but he expects it to to grow as the economy recovers.

"The green jobs industry is still in the laboratory stage," he said, "And this program is just a Petri dish."

He said seven green business employers are involved with the county in the program.

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