Federal Government Funding for Weatherization Program Requires More Skilled Workers

Thorough training in weatherization is required for most employers to even consider a worker as having the ability to successfully carry out basic responsibilities.

The United States' federal government is making many significant steps into recovering from the Great Recession and moving towards a clean energy economy. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was signed last year in order to jump-start our economy and create jobs. It allocated $5 billion to the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).

With low-income families in mind, the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) enables families to reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. Funds are used to improve the energy performance of homes of needy families using the most advanced technologies and testing protocols available in the housing industry.

The more money the federal government gives to the movement of weatherizing homes, the more skilled workers are needed. Specifically, the Recovery Act gave $29 million for weatherization training centers across America. The American Institute of Renewable Energy (AIRE) is an on-site weatherization training institute that offers BPI certification. Certifications such as this allow entrance to the many career paths of weatherization. Training is very important because one must have the knowledge of the advanced technologies and testing protocols to improving the energy efficiency of homes.

In many states throughout the country, apprenticeship programs give workers the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the energy audits correctly. In North Carolina, Kevin Scott, a technical education and training coordinator, affirms that training in weatherization is crucial to making the United States a more environmentally friendly country while simultaneously saving needy families money during the Great Recession.

"If he stays in weatherization, he's going to be an asset there, but if he decides not to stay, he's going to have all these concepts and all these skills from weatherization to foster the green movement further," Scott said referring to an apprentice of his. "There are jobs that are in demand. The things they are learning are premium. Any builders or contractors in the private sector that want to build green buildings, they love to get a hold of people in weatherization."

Thorough training in weatherization is required for most employers to even consider a worker as having the ability to successfully carry out basic responsibilities. The American Institute of Renewable Energy (AIRE) offers a Weatherization Training Program to prepare energy auditing professionals to conduct a comprehensive inspection and diagnostic analysis of a house using state-of-the-art diagnostic tools.

One of the duties energy auditors must know how to do is to detect if a home builder did not install insulation batting correctly. A "blower door", a new technological device used to measure leakage of warm air, is used to conduct such tests. By attending a BPI weatherization training course at AIRE, workers entering the weatherization industry will have the know-how to using these new tools.

The American Institute of Renewable Energy (AIRE) is a state-of-the-art training facility located in Southern California and offers the best instructors for those wanting to receive BPI weatherization training. Money from the federal government is flowing into the weatherization sector allowing for homes to become energy efficient, saving money for low-income while simultaneously creating the skilled workforce of the 21st clean energy economy.

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