New Initiative Will Connect Oklahomans to Home Weatherization Careers

The nonprofit Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and a diverse network of partners today announced Green Workforce Connect—a collaborative effort that will link job seekers in Oklahoma with home weatherization careers.

Through a new online platform, job seekers, students, and contractors will be able to connect to weatherization employers and training providers in their area. The platform now covers jobs in three states—Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—and will be expanded to a national scope later in 2024.

Green Workforce Connect will support career growth in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program, which helps low-income households make their homes more energy efficient. These professionals help families lower their energy bills and save money, increase their health and safety, and lower stress on the electric grid.

Yet even as such jobs are in high demand, many weatherization providers are struggling to fill open positions. As the industry grows, Green Workforce Connect will drive the careers of new home energy professionals and contractors, particularly those from diverse and underrepresented groups.

“Facilitating the growth of a diverse clean energy workforce is central to IREC’s mission,” said Larry Sherwood, President and CEO at IREC. “We are incredibly excited to join our partners and introduce this dynamic, user-friendly platform that will help launch new careers in the home weatherization industry.”

“Oklahoma’s weatherization program has helped thousands of households reduce their energy costs while creating family-supporting new jobs,” said Amanda Ewing, Executive Director at the Oklahoma Association of Community Action Agencies. “We invite you to visit Green Workforce Connect to learn more about these careers and connect with a vetted list of weatherization providers and training centers in Oklahoma.”

Green Workforce Connect will be a central hub for job seekers, contractors, and other stakeholders to advance their weatherization careers. While it is not a traditional job board, it provides opportunities to connect directly with local employers and training providers. Oklahoma residents can visit their state page to learn about the industry, view typical salaries, and browse a list of organizations in their area.

“Green Workforce Connect could not have arrived at a better time,” said Larry Zarker, CEO of the Building Performance Institute (BPI). “With more job opportunities in clean energy than ever before, job seekers need to know more about the training and certifications that can put them on a path to an exciting clean energy career. This platform will help more Americans learn about these rewarding careers and connect with training organizations and employers.”

The platform contains an Outreach and Engagement Toolkit with a variety of pre-made and customizable materials to help organizations raise awareness about weatherization and recruit great candidates. It also includes a Contractor’s Guide to Success, which is designed to help weatherization companies understand how they can connect with contract opportunities through the Weatherization Assistance Program. It provides valuable insights, strategies, and resources for both new and existing contractors.

“Green Workforce Connect will support new jobs that offer energy savings and home improvements to the families who need it the most,” said Cheryl Williams, Executive Director at the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP). “This is an innovative, forward-looking platform that will help job seekers from diverse backgrounds launch their weatherization careers.”

Green Workforce Connect is the product of feedback from more than 600 weatherization stakeholders. Partners on the project include NASCP; BPI; National Community Action Partnership (NCAP); State of Wisconsin, Department of Administration, Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources (DEHCR), Slipstream; Oklahoma Association of Community Action Agencies (OKACAA); Oklahoma Department of Commerce; Habitat for Humanity of Greater Providence and East Bay; Clean Energy Center at Pennsylvania College; and Service Year Alliance.

Green Workforce Connect can be explored at GreenWorkforceConnect.org.

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