UCM Program Creates Jobs in the Residential Energy Retrofit Sector
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (April 25, 2011) –A residential retrofit “Work Ready” workforce development program created by the University of Central Missouri Workforce Central and in cooperation with strategic industry stakeholders has made significant achievements.
The mission is to develop a holistic retrofit industry sector by quickly “re-culturing” existing weatherization, construction and housing professionals into “Work Ready” residential energy retrofit market rate professionals. This effort has been inspired by the Obama administration’s goal to create a million jobs by weatherizing a million homes. To help prepare people to work in the home retrofit industry sector, UCM leveraged existing certification programs for select technical trade categories; however the real breakthrough was in identifying a design-build retrofit process and occupational gaps including sales, management, and administration.
Offered through UCM’s School of Graduate and Extended Studies and including workshops and certificate programs at the UCM Summit Center in Lee’s Summit, the program provides competencies in technical areas such as building science, privacy policies, rebates and incentives, improvement analysis, process management and project close-out. It also provides training in non-technical areas such as self leadership, sales ethics, teamwork, conflict resolution, customer service and career management.
“In addition to creating more energy efficient homes, the creation of permanent jobs with positive impact to our economy is among the program’s proposed strategic outcomes,” said Scott Boyce, Workforce Development representative in UCM’s School of Graduate and Extended Studies.
Here are some of the program’s accomplishments top date:
- In July 2010, UCM was identified as a subcontractor to the state of Missouri for the State Energy Sector Partnership (SESP) Training Grant. The main goal of the UCM SESP Grant Project is to develop and deliver “Work Ready” workforce training and educational programs in the residential energy efficiency sector. This project was partially funded by a grant awarded under the High Growth and Emerging Industries Recovery Act-SESP and Training Program, as implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.
- UCM created a strong collaboration project between business, government, education and community groups in fall 2010 with the Green Collar Job Training program. This pilot project was funded by the Full Employment Council, Inc., through an earmarked grant it received from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The pilot project prepared people for work in Green Collar growth occupations in the “Green Impact Zone,” which was initiated by Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District.
- UCM launched Residential Energy Customer Service Coordinators and Residential Energy Auditors Certification programs, which graduated 24 students, of which 20 found employment.
- UCM is currently providing “Work Ready” workshops to educate key stakeholders in real estate, banking/finance, the building trades and consumers on the value of the retrofit industry. A realtor retrofit workshop is scheduled for April 2011, which is designed to teach realtors how to assist consumers with financial vehicles needed to perform successful retrofits.
To learn more about collaborative efforts being taken to build a skilled workforce in the growing energy retrofit sector, contact Scott Boyce at 816-875-3927, Ext. 110, or Laurel Hogue, grant project director for resources, budget and reports in UCM’s School of Graduate and Extended Studies, at 660-543-4674 or go to www.ucmo.edu/retrofit.