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Associated Press: Pelosi praises N.J.'s green scene

By Angela Delli Santi

TRENTON -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said if the United States weren't mired in an enormously costly war in Iraq, far more money would be available for education and clean-energy job training like the program she was in the GardenState to tout on Friday.

Pelosi, D-Calif., was at Isles YouthBuild, where a class that will train high school students to install solar panels is scheduled to start in April.

'They are our VIPs,' Pelosi said of the students at Isles, who are studying for their high school equivalency diplomas. 'You are getting training that kids didn't get just a few years ago, to create the jobs of the future.'

Isles student Nikita McFarland of Ewing made Pelosi an honorary member of the class of 2008, and she reciprocated by inviting them to a 'class reunion' at her office in Washington.

The green-jobs program pairs the community youth organization with the solar company SunPower, which is launching a solar panel installation training program and conducting the student training for free.

Some of the students then will install solar panels at the new Isles training building in Trenton and at SunPower's headquarters.

Pelosi was joined by Trenton Mayor Doug Palmer and Reps. Rush Holt and Frank Pallone, both proponents of federal funding for clean energy and green-job training.

'This is of national significance,' Holt said of the environmental construction program. 'Now people are beginning to realize that living green, developing environmental technologies, are things that people will pay for.'