Grant Taps NERI for EnergyWorks KC Workforce Development Training
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (March 7, 2012) – The National Energy Retrofit Institute at the University of Central Missouri has received a $120,145 grant to provide training opportunities to strengthen the green jobs career pipeline for energy conservation in the bi-state Kansas City metropolitan area. Funds were made possible through the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), which has partnered with the city of Kansas City for the EnergyWorks KC Workforce Development program.
The grant enables the university to provide two training programs that will certify individuals as Retrofit Brokers and Residential Energy Client Service Coordinators (RECSC). Retrofit Broker training will focus on displaced or underemployed real estate professionals and housing professionals who will provide direct property owner awareness. RECSC training will be geared toward unemployed individuals who can provide customer service for property owners. Training is expected to begin April 2012.
“We appreciate the opportunity to partner with the Mid-America Regional Council to make these programs available. They will give us opportunities to retrain individuals who can leverage their skills and expertise in the growing retrofit industry, and ultimately help homeowners reduce their energy bills,” said Scott Boyce, workforce development representative. “After completing training, graduates will join many other NERI alumni to help accelerate the residential energy retrofit model that is currently in place in Kansas City.”
A Retrofit Broker is responsible for the marketing and promotion of retrofit services to property owners. They provide counseling services and assist property owners preparing for the first phase of the energy improvement design-build process. Brokers will be equipped with materials and kits to canvas and conduct
no-cost energy efficiency and water conservation workshops, information sessions for property owners, neighborhood associations, community groups and other venues. These kits will include information and/or products the attendees can use to begin saving energy the day of the information session and without additional investment. Information sessions also provide attendees a realistic preview of opportunities available to take energy efficiency to the next level and consider options for holistic energy retrofits.
A RECSC is responsible for the accurate, timely, and professional coordination of activities between the client and stakeholders throughout the energy improvement design-build process, as well as the wholesale or retail sales of products and services. They can assist in finding funding partners, rebate aggregators, contractors, and more related to the process of building and retrofitting of energy efficient homes.
MARC is the metropolitan planning organization and association of the city and county governments in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The organization is under contract with the city of Kansas City, Mo., to support aspects of a $20 million U.S. Department of Energy grant that was received by the city and made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The purpose of the funds is to transform the energy retrofit market for residential, commercial, industrial and institutional buildings in seven targeted neighborhoods throughout Kansas City and the metropolitan area. EnergyWorks KC Workforce Development was created to accomplish primary objectives.
Graduates of Residential Broker and the RECSC program will focus on property owners in neighborhoods in Kansas City and the larger MARC region. Seven targeted neighborhoods are: Winnwood-Sunnybrook, Central Industrial District, Washington Wheatley, Westside, Eastwood Hills, Green Impact Zone and Ruskin Heights. MARC’s service areas include Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte and Ray counties in Missouri, and Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wayandotte counties in Kansas City.