SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Biofuels Initiative has drawn a $4 million California state grant to train future biofuel workers.

The San Diego Biofuels Initiative is a collaborative effort of CleanTECH San Diego, BIOCOM, San Diego Regional EDC, San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology and the San Diego Workforce Partnership. The grant comes from the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency's "Green Innovation Challenge."

Though most biofuel produced today is corn-based ethanol, several San Diego companies are working to convert algae into fuel.

The San Diego Biofuels Initiative's proposal, "Educating and Developing Workers for the Green Economy," will provide education, training and placement services to unemployed and dislocated workers within San Diego and the Imperial Valley.

A June 2010 analysis of the algal biofuels R&D in the region, conducted by the San Diego County of Governments' economic bureau, reports that the industry currently provides 410 direct jobs and $56 million in direct economic activity and $108 million in total economic activity annually.