North America's Building Trades Unions (NABTU) and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) unveiled a collaborative effort that describes the potential to create significant career training opportunities via investments in energy efficiency programs.
Formal energy efficiency policies throughout our nation are estimated to require the skills of hundreds of thousands of skilled craft professionals. Leveraging these investments to create career training opportunities via formal apprenticeship training is an ideal scenario.
"As states make the necessary plans for a clean energy future, they should consider the social and economic benefits of their decisions. Energy efficiency programs have the potential to provide jobs and career training opportunities for significant numbers of Americans," commented Steven Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
As we progress towards a more energy-efficient economy, the manufacturing, industrial, and power sectors are considering investments that will lower their operating costs by conserving energy.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed the Clean Energy Incentive Program that is designed to credit states for early Clean Power Plan compliance action, with the hopes that such a move will spur energy efficiency measures despite the Supreme Court's decision to stay the climate change rule.
As we have seen with other flourishing sectors of the economy, this has the potential to create career training opportunities in the skilled trades, provided that industry, government and labor work in tripartite harmony to make it happen.
"North America's Building Trades Unions and its signatory contractors invest over $1 billion annually in the world's most admired and successful skilled craft apprenticeship infrastructure," said Sean McGarvey, president of NABTU. "We have real-world experience in working with businesses, industry, government and community organizations that see the value in leveraging public and private investment so that they create opportunities for career training in the skilled trades, particularly and especially for historical neglected communities, such as women, people of color, military veterans, and urban youth. Energy efficiency investments have that same potential, and we are proud to join with ACEEE to issue a call to make that a reality."