Workforce Accelerator Report-Out from the 2021 Summit

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 07, 2021

This year’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit featured two sessions with speakers from the Workforce Accelerator, an effort that supports organizations leading the way in growing a workforce well-equipped for the transition to a higher-performing building stock.

Partner Meetup: Workforce Accelerator

The Workforce Meetup featured partners Corps Network, NYSERDA, and Roxbury Community College. This session was focused on partner updates and how each of them use the Accelerator to further their goals in the energy efficiency workforce. The Corps Network discussed specific corps within their network, each offering job training, tangible work experience, and support services. The corps in Denver, CO, Charleston, SC, Long Beach, CA, and Baltimore, MD specifically work on climate change and conservation projects, including solar installation, weatherization, and energy and water conservation.

NYSERDA presented on their workforce funding and training projects that support their mission and streamline pathways to clean energy careers. The organization’s Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) program for green collar prep focuses on environmental literacy, efficiency, and construction for women in a nontraditional market. Roxbury Community College shared insight into the campus’s Center for Smart Building Technology and how it prepares a workforce needed for innovative smart building practices. The center has been an aggregator for energy efficiency programs, a producer of state-of-the-art BAS technicians, and a hub for community engagement and leadership.

Summit Session: Leading the Way to a Diverse and Qualified Workforce

Summit session “Leading the Way to a Diverse and Qualified Workforce” featured thought leadership from Accelerator partners City of Milwaukee, WI, Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), and Lane Community College. Milwaukee uses the Accelerator goals to enhance local jobs by developing pathways and focusing on economic equality. They have found success by utilizing IREC’s career maps and adapting them to fit their own local needs. AEE has been focusing on certifications and diversity and inclusion efforts, which have led them to develop two priority programs for women in the industry and underrepresented minorities, in addition to over 15 certifications offered.

Lane Community College has developed a Building Energy and Controls Apprenticeship Program (BECA) to bridge the gap for energy management and controls technology as a career option. This program offers paid, related training followed by a cumulative exam. Through BECA, the program has seen a wider demographic of students succeeding with increased number of practitioners in the field.

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