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Strengthening the Workforce in Better Buildings Neighborhoods

The Better Buildings Neighborhood Program is supporting an expanding energy efficiency workforce upgrading buildings in communities around the country.

Even with the sweltering heat and relaxation that summer usually brings, the Energy Department’s Better Buildings Neighborhood Program is showing no sign of slowing down. This week, the program is hosting the Residential Energy Efficiency Solutions: From Innovation to Market Transformation conference, bringing together approximately 400 administrators and implementers of residential energy efficiency programs and associated stakeholders. Six new case studies, a business models guide and a video showcasing energy efficiency upgrade professionals are debuting at the conference. Each was designed to inspire communities across the country to save money, create new jobs and foster business opportunities. 

The six case studies -- profiling successful workforce development and incentive initiatives in Maine, Michigan, Oregon and Pennsylvania -- are a great resource for any energy efficiency upgrade professional. Each addresses key topics such as participant recruitment, workforce training and cost barriers that contractors and consumers face.

They also provide a snapshot as to how Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners are helping local residents reduce energy use and live more comfortably through residential energy efficiency upgrades. In addition to sharing lessons learned, the case studies are inspirational. Consider this one from program partners like Geno Gallo from Fayette County, Pennsylvania:
Mr. Gallo is a green building business owner who was able to make significant investments in his business through the Fayette County Better Buildings Initiative. Through the program, Mr. Gallo earned certifications as a Building Performance Institute Building Analyst and Envelope Professional. The program also helped Mr. Gallo expand his service portfolio, leading to business growth and employment opportunities for local residents to help him meet his growing labor needs. Mr. Gallo is appreciative of the unique opportunity the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program afforded him. “In this economy, for a business to start up and be growing, it's amazing,” said Mr. Gallo.
For those hoping to better equip themselves for today’s residential energy efficiency market, the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program Business Models Guide is a solid resource that delivers multiple strategies for expanding service portfolios, creating effective business strategies around energy efficiency, and incorporating market sector perspectives into public-private partnerships. There are plenty of working models and “how-to’s” that help program implementers and contractors improve their residential energy efficiency upgrade business.

Another resource from the conference is this short video -- Strengthening the Workforce in Better Buildings Neighborhoods, which details how Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners are training and expanding their local energy efficiency professional workforce. The video shows how Better Buildings partners are fostering additional job opportunities, encouraging local economic growth, and helping residents save energy and money. 

Thanks to these great new resources from the Energy Department, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an energy upgrade professional who’s having a boring summer.