Efficiency Vermont partners with Vermont Technical College to expand weatherization workforce
Efficiency Vermont and Vermont Technical College (VTC) are launching a new partnership to help grow Vermont’s weatherization workforce. This week, contractors from around the state will gather at VTC to participate in the Building Performance Institute's (BPI) Building Analyst Certification training free of charge. Successfully completing this course will allow these contractors to become partners in Efficiency Vermont's Home Performance with EnergyStar weatherization program.
Weatherization has a proven track record of success – saving Vermonters money by reducing heating use, reducing carbon emissions, and boosting job growth and the state’s economy. Increased weatherization incentives announced this summer by the state’s three Energy Efficiency Utilities – Efficiency Vermont, Vermont Gas, and Burlington Electric Department -- are bringing projects within reach to more moderate-income Vermonters and driving demand for additional qualified contractors who can provide weatherization services.
“This new partnership will help ensure that we have the skilled workforce needed to meet the growing demand for weatherization,” said Rebecca Foster, Director of Efficiency Vermont. “Incentives are an important tool for helping Vermonters take action, and Efficiency Vermont is equally focused on our supply chain partners. We want to ensure that when families are ready to move forward with a project, local contractors are ready to help. This work is a critical ingredient to making progress toward Vermont’s weatherization goals.”
2018 saw hiring difficulties increase in the clean energy sector in Vermont for the third year in a row, according to the 2019 Vermont Clean Energy Industry Report. Vermont faces a shortage of construction tradespeople with the necessary energy efficiency skills and certifications. Vermont Technical College offers trainings and certifications for clean energy jobs, including weatherization, so a natural partnership opportunity presented itself.
“As Efficiency Vermont works to create market demand for professional weatherization services, we’re happy to partner with them to ensure a skilled workforce is available to meet that demand,” said Katherine Barwin, Project Manager for Green Workforce Trainings, at Vermont Technical College. “Together, we are helping more Vermonters make their homes more affordable, more comfortable, and more resilient to effects of climate change.”
Efficiency Vermont is providing a BPI certified instructor for the course and will additionally provide a stipend to contracting companies when their staff successfully complete the course. In return, participating companies agree to join Efficiency Vermont’s Efficiency Excellence Network to offer comprehensive energy services through Efficiency Vermont’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program.
“This partnership with Efficiency Vermont and VTC will help me better serve my customers, who are asking about weatherization because they know it will make their homes more comfortable and help them save money. I am thrilled about this opportunity to expand my business and better serve those customers,” said Samuel Newman of Alger Brook Design Build, a participant in the course. “By offering this course free of charge to participants, Efficiency Vermont and VTC are enabling further job growth in the clean energy sector.”
Ten participants will complete the course this week and take their certifying exams next week. The BPI coursework is based on the sound fundamentals of building science, proper building analysis, and strategies to improve energy savings and comfort. Certified BPI Analysts will also come away with techniques to improve indoor air quality, occupant health, and the safety of the home. Efficiency Vermont and VTC will offer the same course again the week of December 2nd. If demand continues, additional trainings will be added in 2020. Contact Efficiency Vermont to reserve a spot.
Course & Stipend Details:
- Course is free to registrants – no money required to sign up.
- The Efficiency Excellence Network (EEN) will offer a $200/day stipend for those who attend the weeklong training, not to exceed $1,000 per attendee.
- EEN will offer $200 flat-rate stipend for those who only take the exams.
- Stipend will be paid to associated company, not attendee.
- Class attendee must take and pass both online and field exams offered by VTC the following week.
- Attendee’s company must either be an EEN Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) member, or must sign up as an EEN HPwES member, to access stipend.
- Company must provide evidence that attendee received certification as a result of this class in order to access stipend.
About Efficiency Vermont
As the nation’s first Energy Efficiency Utility, Efficiency Vermont has helped Vermont avoid over 13.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and has received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence award for the last seven consecutive years. Efficiency Vermont works with partners to help our state transition to more affordable, low carbon energy use through education, incentives, and support for our clean energy workforce. Learn more at www.efficiencyvermont.com.
Phone: (802) 540-7662