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ORAU Provides Weatherization Professional Development Training for Improved Energy Efficiency

Weatherization worker

When the U.S. Department of Energy's longstanding Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) received an influx of American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds in 2009, ORAU partnered with DOE to support the development of additional Weatherization Training Centers in underserved communities across the nation. Today, ORAU is continuing to provide training to weatherization training centers and is also helping them enhance their capabilities by pursuing Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) accreditation.

Over the past two years, ORAU has provided training and technical assistance to more than 400 instructors and directors in weatherization training centers across the country. In 2012 alone, ORAU contributed more than 26 lessons plans for the for the DOE National Curriculum for weatherization training. These training opportunities represent valuable professional development and skills in these communities. By increasing skills related to improving the energy efficiency of homes, these programs are assisting low income families and providing workers with expanded employment opportunities. ORAU is working with these training centers to help ensure that they can continue to serve as a valuable resource in their communities.

For weatherization training centers, the IREC accreditation represents an opportunity to more firmly establish their organizational expertise and tap into additional funding and support resources. ORAU has provided IREC accreditation assistance to 17 weatherization training centers, stretching from Juneau, Alaska to Baltimore, Maryland. In 2012, the New River Center for Energy Research and Training (NRCERT) in Christiansburg, Virginia, became the first DOE-funded weatherization training center to obtain IREC accreditation. With this accreditation, NRCERT is able to provide additional certifications to its trainees to further enhance their employment options.

With several more applications already submitted and others in development, ORAU and DOE WAP hope to see many more centers achieve accreditation in 2013.