Vermont boasts an ambitious goal to weatherize 120,000 homes by January 2031. Successful implementation would reduce greenhouse gas emissions while saving families and businesses substantial fuel costs.
Energy Works is a small, yet ambitious project of Vermont Adult Learning (VAL) designed to train much-needed entry-level weatherization workers. An added benefit allows trainees who lack a high school credential to tap into VAL’s services to earn a high school diploma or GED. Wrap-around supports are provided to help trainees overcome employment barriers. Starting wages for Weatherization workers in Vermont are, typically, $18 per hour. Successful trainees participate in a three-week module comprised of classroom and hands-on training; they leave with a nationally recognized certification in Building Science Principles, a $250 stipend, and, most often, a job with full benefits.
A recent participant said, “By the end of the Job Shadowing, I was confident of what the job as a whole required of me and if I wanted to pursue employment.”
VAL’s partners include: Office of Economic Opportunity, Efficiency Vermont, Bennington, Rutland Opportunity Council, HireAbility (Division of Vocational Rehabilitation), and the Department of Labor. Funding partners include: VLITE, BOWSE Health Trust, HireAbility (Division of Vocational Rehabilitation), and the Johnson Family Foundation.
Energy Works offers ongoing training sessions in Rutland with plans to expand to other regions of Vermont. For more information, contact Jeff Nerney, Energy Works Project Coordinator, at 802-779-0056 or [email protected].org.