The Association for Energy Affordability is teaming with District Council 37 to train union members and residents of environmental justice (“EJ”) communities in New York City to tackle the conditions that undermine health and safety and contribute to high energy costs in their housing. EJ communities may include those with high concentrations of minority and low-income residents that experience significant health hazards due to environmental hazards such as building and vehicle emissions, vermin, lead paint, etc.
DC 37, New York City’s largest union of municipal workers, partnered with AEA and Envirolution to create its Green Jobs Training Program, which provides workforce education that prepares incumbent workers and other young adults for jobs in the energy efficiency and clean energy workforce. AEA has been training participants to understand and assess conditions of residential buildings that affect energy use.
Students are first introduced to fundamentals of building science — how air, heat, and moisture flow through a building, and the impact of these processes on energy use. Classes incorporate online, classroom and hands-on practical components, exposing participants to an assortment of career paths for City workers and others. Architects, engineers, project managers, and entry level workers all benefit from this content, which is not often covered in course work for their chosen professions. Interested students who pass the final exam earn a certificate in Building Science Principles from the Building Performance Institute (BPI), one of the leading organizations developing standards and issuing credentials to workers in the residential energy efficiency industry.
Those interested in learning to conduct building assessments and recommend energy upgrades who are ready for more advanced content can progress to the AEA’s Multifamily Building Analyst (MFBA) course. Completion of this class prepares students for the exam to earn BPI’s MFBA certification.
Classes take place on weekday evenings and Saturdays, enabling full-time workers to participate without taking time off work. Both courses include some classroom and online content paired with in-person hands-on learning at AEA’s New York City Energy Management Training Center.
Thus far 60 students have successfully completed the initial building science course. A fourth class is currently underway. The first round of MFBA training took place in July and August, with additional classes planned in the near future.
Based on positive responses, the partners are pursuing additional funding from NYSERDA to offer additional course options that will open doors to a broader range of green jobs to New York City workers.
Kay Stewart | September 30th, 2021