Author: Ahjai Jordan
Weatherization is the new wave in careers in technical education. New legislation that offers home owners incentives for energy optimization is in the works. $5 billion worth of weatherization services is already being provided for low-income families; in compliance with the Davis-Bacon Act requirements of the 2009 Recovery Act. The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), enables low-income families to permanently reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. Families receiving weatherization services see their annual energy bills reduced by an average of about $437, depending on fuel prices.
Because the energy improvements that make up weatherization services are long lived, the savings add up over time, to substantial benefits for weatherization clients and their communities, and the nation as a whole.-US Department of Energy Michigan Rehabilitation Services was made aware of this new trend, and the available funding; MCTI, which receives 100% of its student referrals from them, was giving the go head on the Weatherization Installer Certification Program. The program launched September 14, 2010. I had the pleasure of interviewing John Giltrop, Head Instructor of the new Weatherization Program at Michigan Career and Technical Institute. Instructor John Giltrop, is well versed in the up and coming trends and had a lot to share.
“Home building and new construction is shifting toward optimizations, and the energy efficiency of already built homes. It is projected that weatherization will be the fastest growing career field from now thru 2018. Unemployed building contractors are shifting towards becoming installers. In order to weatherize homes, for the purpose of increasing homes energy efficiency ratings. The home building trend is over. Home efficiency is now at the forefront. This new program at MCTI will merge with the electrical program, already being offered, in time. Phil Schmitt, the Head Electrical Instructor at MCTI, intends to incorporate technology such; as solar powered water heaters, wind power turbines, and other forms of hybrid electrical appliances, to the weatherization installers’ program. The emerging skilled trade of weatherization installer is becoming more relevant and necessary, as we shift towards improving on the world around us. These trends have been observed by market analyst; whom the home buying market is currently saturated with, though installers are in short supply. These analysts have determined that the green initiative is, both cost effective, and economically necessary. The need for skilled installers of weatherization materials is in high demand.
The Building Science Academy has partnered with MCTI. Together they are pushing for weatherization to be legitimized by the Building Science Institute, and recognized by the US Department of Labor, as an official skilled trade industry. Similar to the way skilled tradesmen; like carpenters, pipefitters, and electricians, are established and relevant technical careers.
The Obama administration has created an efficiency rating of 1-10; 1 being inefficient and 10 being most efficient. A new rating system is being established for energy efficient homes. This rating system will be the new selling point in the home buying market. Fixing what’s broken; making the homes we have more efficient is the new trend. 2 million homes need to be weatherized, that’s enough work for the next 200 years! The ultimate goal of this push toward energy efficiency is for homes to be self sufficient and completely off the grid”-Instructor Giltrop
The Weatherization Certification Program, as it stands today; is offered in 2 terms, consisting of 10weeks per term. Students receive hands-on experience with testing and calculating energy usage, structural air sealing, and installing. Various forms of insulation and completing building repairs, to ensure the customer’s home is safe and functioning properly, while optimizing building efficiency, and performance: is being taught within this vocational program. After completion of the program, students receive certification and are fully prepared for immediate employment. Entry level wages vary by geographic area, but are predicted to start at $12.04.-MCTI
Today, this weatherization program is at the forefront of the green initiative. Soon this program and others like it, will be in high demand and recognized as a skilled trade, by the US Department of Labor. Going Green is the catalyst for the emerging skilled trade industry of Weatherization Installer, and MCTI is at the forefront.
Monday, August 8, 2011
MCTI’s Weatherization Installer Certification Program