The U.S. Department of Energy has approved a grant award of $1 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to Baltimore City Community College to expand its weatherization job training center and programs. The expansion will enable the college to train up to 200 low-income unemployed or underemployed Marylanders for work in the growing field of energy efficiency. BCCC calls the newly funded project its Baltimore Energy Efficiency Training Initiative.
While already operating the largest community college-sponsored weatherization training facility in Maryland, BCCC will now develop and implement four new training modules for skills needed to install and maintain new technologies (including photovoltaic and solar thermal). Courses will be available in traditional and hybrid (with both onsite and online instruction) formats to accommodate differing learning style preferences. Training will take place at the BCCC Weatherization Hub (1212 N. Wolfe St.) and at the college’s Maryland Center for Construction Technologies (901 North Milton St.), both located in East Baltimore.
More than 30 percent of Maryland residents who qualify for home weatherization assistance under the Department of Energy Weatherization Assistance Program live in Baltimore City. To address that need-and the need for good jobs-the goal of the college’s Baltimore Energy Efficiency Training Initiative is to expand local training to offer multi-tiered career pathways in energy retrofit and weatherization.
“The College is proud to be recognized as a leader in workforce development. We thank the Department of Energy for this sizable grant, which will allow us to expand our mission to prepare Marylanders-and especially Baltimore City residents-for high-demand jobs,” Dr. Carolane Williams, BCCC president, said. “The impact is all the greater because this promotes energy efficiency, which is of course another essential for growing Maryland’s economy.”
BCCC is also training contractors that provide services to residents who do not qualify for weatherization assistance. Successful completers are currently awarded a continuing education certificate from BCCC, a credential that state and local agencies recognize as proof of competency in weatherization services.