New Online Resources to Support U.S. Green Building Workforce

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 30, 2021

Nearly 40 organizations are partnering with DOE as part of the Better Buildings Workforce Accelerator. As partners, they are committed to enhancing the energy efficiency workforce by fostering interest, streamlining pathways, and improving skills. These organizations are leading the way in supporting a workforce that is well-equipped for the transition to a higher-performing U.S. building stock.

DOE and Accelerator partners meet quarterly. At the latest meeting in March, several partners offered updates including the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the International Renewable Energy Council (IREC), and the Building Performance Association (BPA).

The U.S. Green Building Council is focused on developing curricula and learning materials for educators that emphasize sustainability programs and provide guidance toward green building careers. USGBC has created a new green building career site, featuring 18 occupations with a connection to the LEED certification program. Each career profile details the education, training, and certification requirements, as well as pathways and resources for pursuing the job. USGBC’s Learning Lab provides curriculum to K-12 educators that promotes sustainability literacy on topics such as architecture, construction, natural resources, and more. The Building Learners program connects green building experts and students to demonstrate how their own school building can be used as context to understand sustainability topics.  Both green education programs target USGBC’s goal of increasing curricula offerings for K-12 students.

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council recently launched a green buildings career map to help jobseekers discover the many career options related to energy efficiency. Funded by DOE’s Building Technologies Office, this dynamic map features 55 jobs across industry sectors with over 100 advancement routes. Sectors include architecture, engineering, and professional services; building operations and facilities management; and construction and retrofitting. The map also highlights “new-collar jobs” for individuals who develop the technical and soft skills needed to work in these positions through nontraditional pathways. The map can be used for career exploration, recruitment, and advisement. It can also inform curricular content and help transition veterans into the workforce. This is the third career map developed by IREC, following the HVAC-R career map and the solar career map.

The Building Performance Association is making progress toward its goals of assessing the residential retrofit market gaps and identifying strategies to advance workforce opportunities. BPA gained valuable insight and feedback on members’ challenges and needs through a member survey. These responses will help BPA determine activities that will help their members meet their workforce needs. BPA also launched a Training and Careers Hub, part of the new online platform BPA Connections. The Hub provides access to curated training curricula, training providers, job postings, career development, and community discussions. Additional content will be added monthly.

Stay up to date on the Workforce Accelerator’s progress by visiting the Better Buildings Workforce Accelerator page on the Solution Center. For more workforce development resources and information, visit the Better Buildings Workforce Development Portal.