AEA Projects Highlighted during SoBronx Celebration Week 2012

The first week of October was SoBronx Celebration Week organized by the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBRO). The Association for Energy Affordability was proud to join in the events as an honoree, sponsor and partner. AEA’s contributions to communities in the Bronx were very much in evidence during the week’s events.

Green Affordable Housing. On Oct. 2, SoBRO’s Bus Tour of innovative new housing and economic development projects featured two new green multifamily buildings constructed as affordable housing. For both buildings, AEA played the role of NYSERDA Multifamily Performance Partner, contributing to building system design and providing energy modeling, construction management and related services to help the buildings meet energy efficiency goals to earn program incentives. Crotona Park Apartments (64 units, developed by SoBRO with Exact Capital) and Via Verde (222 units, developed by Jonathan Rose Companies with Phipps Houses) were both completed in 2012. These new buildings provide much-needed affordable housing in the Bronx.

Training and Home Performance Services. During Bronx Business Expo and Career Fair on Oct. 4, AEA showcased its new installer training courses, energy efficiency programs, and also its Bronx-based home performance services under NYSERDA’s Home Performance with Energy Star program.

AEA Receives Award as SoBRO partner. AEA was honored for its “dedication, excellence and commitment” by SoBRO during its 4th Annual Salute to Business Owners event on October 4, 2012. AEA was recognized for its role as a nonprofit partner and the lead technical trainer on an innovative workforce development project to create Pathways Out of Poverty (“POP”) by preparing unemployed workers for jobs in green industries. Executive Director David Hepinstall accepted the award presented by President and CEO Philip Morrow of SoBRO and program manager Roberto Claudio.

Workforce Training. AEA has provided its barrier-breaking Energy Efficiency I course to well over 400 green job seekers – 150 of them referred by SoBRO – since 2009. Nearly 1/3 of these trainees continued on to take courses from AEA preparing them for Building Analyst, Envelope Specialist or installer certifications from the Building Performance Institute.

Many of those trained were participants in the current POP project, which was funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) dollars through the US Department of Labor. The project is led by the Consortium for Worker Education (CWE) and has focused on residents of the Bronx and neighboring communities. More than 200 job seekers have been employed through this project to date. SoBRO, a leading workforce and economic development nonprofit in the Bronx, and other workforce development partners provided intake, screening, job readiness, education and skills training, job placement and other services while CWE provided overall project management and support to all partners and delivered courses to strengthen applicants’ environmental awareness and mechanical reasoning.

AEA provides training from the Energy Management Training Center on Bruckner Boulevard, a new Installer Lab on Boone Avenue (both in the Bronx); a Midtown New York classroom; and to various training sites across the US using its high-definition, interactive distance learning platform.

Walking Our Talk. AEA’s commitment extends beyond training. Since 2009, AEA has hired over 49 graduates of workforce training programs (its own and those of others). Eleven graduates of the POP program recruited and prepared by SoBRO are currently working at AEA.

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