CCCC selected to offer BPI certification
Central Carolina Community College has been selected by the North Carolina Community College Syste ... (more)
PITTSBORO - Central Carolina Community College has been selected as the site for the North Carolina Community College System’s Weatherization Faculty Training program.
At its Aug. 21 meeting, the State Board of Community Colleges approved an allocation to Central Carolina of $34,000 from Workforce Investment Act funds designated for enhancing the education and credentialing of community college faculty.
“We chose Central Carolina Community College to offer this faculty training because we had to do the training quickly and the college was ready to move forward,” said Matthew Meyer, NCCCS vice president of Innovation and Technology. “Laura Lauffer, CCCC’s Green Building Program coordinator, already has a great relationship with the training provider, so we ran with it.”
Community college faculty from around the state who want to increase their skills in teaching weatherization - auditing energy use and retrofitting existing homes for energy efficiency - will attend. The goal of the program is to increase the NCCCS’s pool of faculty with appropriate credentials for training weatherization technicians.
Central Carolina is one of the few community colleges in the state offering green building and renewable energy classes, including weatherization auditing and retrofitting. These classes appeal to those wanting to weatherize their own homes, entrepreneurs who want to start green building-related businesses, and workers seeking skills for the growing green-job market.
The faculty training classes are a response by the NCCCS to a request by the State Recovery Office and the State Weatherization Assistance Program Office (SWAPO) for the system to provide weatherization technician training. The increasing cost of heating fuel and electricity as well as increasing concern for the environment have resulted in a growing demand for, and shortage of, technicians certified to do weatherization audits and energy efficiency retrofitting on existing homes.
Central Carolina has contracted with Home Performance Training, a Building Performance Institute accredited trainer, to deliver the Weatherization Faculty Training program. Three trainers will conduct the class and field-training tests using BPI’s Building Analysis curriculum.
Thirty-six instructors from community colleges around the state will be trained during two six-day programs held during the fall. The instructors will have to pass the BPI certification exams if their institutions want BPI accreditation. Central Carolina plans to obtain BPI accreditation to offer certified Building Analyst training.
“This certification takes our NCCCS faculty above and beyond what is required to teach weatherization,” Meyer said. “We want to have the greatest workforce available in the NCCCS to educate and train the North Carolina workforce.”
Building Performance Institute is a nationally recognized standards development and contractor credentialing organization for residential energy efficiency retrofit work. According to BPI’s web site, www.bpi.org, federal legislature is helping to drive the demand for more trained technicians.
“Between the ($8 billion) funding allocated to weatherization and energy efficiency improvements under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and the impending efficiency mandates proposed in the American Clean Energy and Security Act, home performance contractors are in greater demand than ever before,” said Davd Hepinstall, chairman of the BPI Board of Directors. “Training and certification are key steps in building a strong, highly skilled and professionalized home performance workforce.”
Lauffer will oversee the Weatherization Faculty Training program, which will be given at the college’s Chatham County Campus, in Pittsboro.
“CCCC is in an excellent position to add this level of training to our existing program resources,” Lauffer said. “Our green building and renewable energy programs attract hundreds of students from our region. Adding BPI accreditation will continue to help develop the state’s green collar workforce with credible, high quality training. The Weatherization Faculty Training will serve as a catalyst to propel NCCS faculty in preparing the entire state’s weatherization and energy efficiency workforce.”
In 2007, according to the Green Collar Jobs Report, there were more than 9 million jobs nationwide in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries, including weatherization. The report forecasts that, by 2030, there will be 37 million jobs.
The new training program is one facet of Code Green, an initiative approved by the N.C. State Board of Community Colleges in February 2009. Code Green commits the community college system to a major expansion of training for the green-collar workforce, as well as incorporating sustainable practices and building methods at its campuses.
“We are pleased that the NCCCS, BPI and Central Carolina Community College are able to partner to provide this much-needed training,” said CCCC President Bud Marchant. “The college is a statewide leader in green technologies education, so much so that we are known as ‘Green Central.’ Now, we have the opportunity to train faculty who will return to their colleges and greatly increase the number of North Carolina workers prepared for employment in the growing and important green economy.”
For more information about Central Carolina’s Green Building/Renewable Energy programs, contact Lauffer at the Chatham Campus, (919) 542-6495, ext. 236. For more information on other sustainable programs, call the Chatham Campus or go online to www.cccc.edu/green. For more information on green jobs, go to the Green Collar Jobs Report website, www.ases.org/greenjobs/. For more information about Building Performance Institute, visit its web site, www.bpi.org.
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