Nick Magrisso recently posted a blog on the NRDC website highlighting the Carpenter Training Center in Elk Grove Village in Illinois as part of his series of exploratory video blogs on how energy efficiency is creating jobs in Illinois. It has been long recognized that a large amount of energy is wasted through improper or outdated building techniques. In addition to creating jobs, the training can help homeowners and businesses save money by making buildings more efficient and thus helping to stimulate the economy.
The Northeast Illinois Regional Council of Carpenters operates the 130,000 sq. ft carpenter training facility which has a mock-up of a building inside it. Apprentices are given training to help them enter the workforce and gain valuable skills that put them ahead of many in their field by working towards gaining certifications, such as the Building Performance Institute (BPI) Energy Analyst Certification. BPI training has been available to the apprentices at the facility since 2009. The students learn when, where, and how to air seal problem or leaky areas in buildings and can apply their knowledge to both new construction and existing buildings.
The ability to recognize and correct problems gives them an edge in the weatherization industry as well. Praise has been give to the program from the apprentices because they “walk away with a lot of knowledge, but are very excited to start their careers” and because they feel can still do important work as the world “goes green” and begins to focus more on energy efficiency.
Craig Triplett, an instructor at the Carpenters Training Center has several reasons for the integration of BPI certification and carpenter training, the first of which is that energy efficiency is not going to go away and that demand will only continue to increase so they want to make sure their students are prepared. Craig is correct. Energy efficiency is not going to go away. As we continue to improve houses and businesses and train individuals, the knowledge and techniques will become common place and techniques and standards will evolve to be more efficient.