Building Performance Training Center

Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance funds new center at Cincinnati State: Area contractors can earn credentials for green jobs 

CINCINNATI – December 5, 2011– The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance awarded a $500,000 grant to Cincinnati State Technical and Community College to fund a new center that will train contractors to perform energy efficiency upgrades for homeowners.

The Building Performance Training Center, which will incorporate national standards into its curriculum, is designed to provide employers with a pool of credentialed workers for jobs involving energy efficiency analysis and improvements to existing buildings. It will be run by Cincinnati State’s Workforce Development Center in Evendale.

“Industry leaders and contractors have been telling us there is a shortage of skilled and credentialed workforce,’’ said Energy Alliance Executive Director Andy Holzhauser. “The creation of standard guidelines to train and certify contractors helps homeowners have the confidence and assurance to hire a home performance contractor to perform a home energy upgrade.”

An Energy Alliance Contractor 101 Training program set for December 6 and 7 will orientate new home performance contractors and installers into the Home Performance with Energy Star program. 

Jim Tenhundfeld, Project and Workforce Assurance Manager at Cincinnati State, said the Building Performance Training Center’s training modules will include such topics as:

  • Air sealing/insulation
  • Combustion safety
  • Building analysis
  • Contractor screening and approval

Each of these areas will involve intensive training on specialized subtopics. For example, in one class contractors will learn how to lower energy loss from air leakage, as well as reduce pollutants and allergens through air migration.

The center is an outgrowth of a U.S. Department of Energy initiative to create National Worker Certification Standards and Training Program accreditation for building weatherization services using a whole-building approach to energy efficiency investments. By the summer of 2012, Tenhundfeld and Holzhauser said DOE expects to have National Worker Certification standards established for such home energy retrofit job classifications as energy auditor, installer/technician, crew leader, and quality assurance inspector.

The goal of the grant is to develop a sustainable business model for the training center so that it can sustain itself beyond the grant period.

“The partnership with the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance is an excellent opportunity for Cincinnati State to provide certified training for local contractors participating in the program,’’ Tenhundfeld said. “Our goal is to provide the best national and certified training programs available anywhere.”

In 2010, the Energy Alliance was one of 25 communities in the nation to receive a grant through the DOE’s Better Buildings program for energy efficiency investments in Hamilton County in Ohio and Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties in Kentucky.

In May of 2010, the Energy Alliance began with three home performance contractors in Greater Cincinnati and completed five home energy upgrades during the first couple of months. Today, the Energy Alliance has 15 approved home performance contractors working in its four-county territory and has completed more than 325 home energy upgrades. The Energy Alliance’s goal is to weatherize thousands of area homes and non-profit buildings.

To learn more about the certified classes available through Cincinnati State please visit http://www.cincinnatistate.edu/wdc.

The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky communities reduce their energy costs. The Energy Alliance provides education, expertise and innovative financing to help the region to become more energy efficient, saving money for residents while also creating local jobs. Visit www.greatercea.org

The Workforce Development Center (WDC) at Cincinnati State provides career training for individuals and meets the needs of corporations, government agencies, and not-for-profits for high-value workforce education and training that fits their specific content, timetable, and location requirements. Organizations of all sizes count on WDC experts to enhance their employees’ professional skills, teach new skills, re-train, and deliver highly customized, hands-on training programs. Visit www.cincinnatistate.edu/wdc/

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