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The Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory recently conducted a study of the (EESS) energy efficiency services sector workforce needs.  In its’ findings, there’s a shortage of formal training programs in energy efficiency and a need for more funding to train the trainers also and is a high demand right now. This growth is in part due to the funding for energy efficiency programs both federal and state budgets through the use of American Recovery Reinvestment Act Funding.

Berkeley Lab researchers decided to examine whether education and training programs were adequate to meet the workforce needs of the next ten years; and to define the energy efficiency workforce sector, including occupations, employers need and current education and training approaches, as this had not been explored in previous studies. Although this study began in 2008, prior to the passing of the Recovery Act; a lack of formal training programs could hamper the rate of expansion. The building and construction trades make up around 65-70% of the energy efficiency services sector.

For results of the study, click here to read the presentation.

The following recommendations were made as a result of the study:
• Providing targeted education and training programs for the construction and building trades.
• Coordinating and tracking training efforts particularly in states that do not already have well established  energy efficiency programs and to share best practices across states.
• Increase short-duration, applied trainings to augment on-the-job training for existing EESS workers and to introduce new entrants to the field.
• Increase funding to train the trainers.
• Prepare the next generation of EESS professionals.

Click here for a detailed summary of the report.

Kentucky's ten local WIA Boards Request for Proposals were sent out in November and December of 2009 asking that they partner with Registered Apprenticeship programs and bring forward innovative ideas on how to expand Pre-Apprenticeship/Apprenticeship participation.

After the Pre-Apprenticeship training phase the plan would be for the participants to graduate directly into Registered Apprenticeship programs.  The Registered Apprenticeship  programs are managed by the various partners.  The education/training of recruits is to start in April as well as request for initial funding draws.

Three Workforce Investment Areas in Kentucky were awarded a total of $718,954.  The Greater Louisville WIA received $250,000, the Green River WIA received $250,000 and the Northern Kentucky WIA received $218,954.  All three WIA’s have begun recruiting eligible persons into the Pre-Apprenticeship programs they established in partnership with Registered Apprenticeship programs and others in their geographic areas.

The Greater Louisville WIA expects to enter 72 persons in its two Pre-Apprenticeship training programs.  Twelve of those will be in an intensive Welding program and the other sixty in a general construction program co-developed with Louisville Building & Construction Trades Council.  The latter program will feed graduates into an existing program called the Louisville Pipeline.

The Green River WIA (Owensboro, KY) expects to enter 75 persons in a construction pre-apprenticeship program that will be closely tied to its partners in Electrical, Heat & Frost Insulators and general Construction Trades.

The Northern Kentucky WIA (Covington, Newport, Florence, KY) is shooting for 90 entrants in its Pre-Apprenticeship program.  Bricklayers, Electricians, Plumbers and Sheet Metal industries/unions are the main partners in this program.

"How Are The Local WIA Boards Partnering With Registered Apprenticeship In Your  City?"

U.S. Department of Labor
has awarded SER Metro-Detroit, Jobs for Progress, Inc. and the International Training Institute for the
Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Industry approximately $5.3 Million in Energy Training Partnership grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) to train 580 people in Macomb, Wayne and Washtenaw counties for green jobs.   The Regional Energy Efficiency Partnership Training Program (REEPTP) will use approximately $4.3 million  grant funds  awarded to SER Metro-Detroit, Jobs for Progress, Inc. to coordinate several partnerships to provide combined academics with green occupational skills training, on the job training (OJT), employment or apprenticeship opportunities, and support services to 340 people in Wayne County.. The programs will partner with other organizations to create a pipeline of skilled workers for alternative energy opportunities in Southeast Michigan.

The 340 unemployed workers will be trained for green jobs or apprenticeship opportunities through five training tracks. Training will be offered at various Wayne County Community College District or union training locations. Program completers will be awarded a CCCD Convergent Technology Energy Efficiency Training Certificate and/or appropriate certifications for completing 391 hours of instruction, training or OJT requirements.
The grantee will prepare the unemployed and incumbent sheet metal workforce for careers in energy efficient building construction, retrofitting, and manufacturing through a series of customized training courses that address the skills gap of the targeted workforce. Training will feature three areas of instruction:
1) Advanced Building Information Modeling (BIM); 2) HVAC Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing (TAB); and, 3) Phenolic Installation. 

The International Training Institute for the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Industry will utilize about $1
million of almost $5 million it won nationally to prepare 240 unemployed and incumbent sheet metal
workers for careers in energy efficient building construction, retrofitting, and manufacturing through a series
of customized training courses that address the skills gap of the targeted workforce.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Energy Training Partnership grant program will help train workers to enter the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries, as well as green occupations within other
industries. The grants invest in partnerships of diverse stakeholders including labor organizations, public or
private employers in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries, and the workforce system.
Bringing together the workforce expertise of these groups will allow grantees to develop programs that are
responsive to the needs of both workers and employers, and that provide participants with the support
needed to successfully complete training. 

"How Are ARRA Funds Being Utilized For Green Jobs Training In Your State?" 


"Expand Apprenticeships"  that's what Justin Lahart from the Wall Street Journal suggests as a solution. 

Lahart points out- "The March employment report showed that American workers aged 16-24 had an unemployment rate of 18.8%, nearly double the 9.7% unemployment rate for the population at large. Even though these young workers represent only about an eighth of the work force, they account for a quarter of America’s unemployed."

This rise in youth unemployment is seen worldwide and has huge consequences socially and financially.  Read Lahart's article "Youth Unemployment Surges World-Wide" and let us know your solution!

We continue our apprentice blog series with The Washington DC Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee.  These students, all in different stages of the program, share their thoughts and feelings about life as an apprentice.  Check out  what they are saying about their experiences in the JATC apprenticeship program.

Meet Michael Baldwin, a second year apprentice of the JATC Local 26. You can call him "Mike."  His story is like many others who find themselves bouncing around various jobs trying to find what they want to do with their life.  Through casual chit chat, he heard about apprenticeship and started investigating different programs.  After applications, testing and  interviews, he landed a union electrician apprenticeship.

"They've given me an education, career, opportunity and all they've asked in return is for me to succeed."  Read more about Mike's experience and hopefully you'll gain some important insight before you too join an apprenticeship program.